The CBS Evening News reported that traffic-related deaths are on the rise “despite all the new safety devices in our cars today.” According to new estimates from the National Safety Council, some factors contributing to the increase include that “47 percent of motorists are comfortable with texting while driving,” 16 percent do not wear seat belts, and 10 percent drive under the influence of alcohol or marijuana. The NSC is calling for “a complete ban of cell phones while driving,” and also advocates that “collision avoidance technology like automatic braking be made standard in all vehicles.”
Bloomberg News reports US motor vehicle deaths hit 40,200 last year, up six percent from 2015 and 14 percent from 2014, according to the NSC. The increase marks a trend also identified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which said in January reported an eight percent spike “in deadly crashes in the first nine months of 2016 compared to the prior-year period.”
The New York Times reports that part of the increase in traffic-related deaths is “believed to stem from the improving economy, which causes Americans to drive more miles,” but safety advocates also cite “slack enforcement of seatbelt, drunken driving and speeding laws.”
From the news release of the American Association for Justice.