Traffic Fatalities Surge Upwards

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 7,630 people died in motor vehicle accidents during the first quarter of 2012.  This figure represents a 13.5% increase from the 6,720 traffic fatalities during the first quarter of 2011.  The NHTSA notes that the number of traffic fatalities is typically lowest during the first quarter of each year due to inclement winter weather, though this year’s winter was unusually warm – a possible explanation for the jump in fatalities.  The 7,630 fatalities is quite low compared to the first three months of previous years, however.  Just six years ago in the first quarter of 2006, 9,558 Americans lost their lives in traffic accidents, but since then, fatalities fell considerably.  The NHTSA attributes that consistent decline to drops in crashes involving young drivers.
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