Why traffic deaths are on the rise again

Jeff Ehling Image
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
DWI message with wrecked cars
FILE - A family struck with tragedy uses the wrecked vehicle that killed their daughter to deter drunk driving

For the first time in a decade deaths from traffic accidents are on the rise.

We saw a sharp increase in the number of people killed on the roads in 2015, and now there is a call to action.

The numbers are startling: 35,000 people died on the roads in the United States last year, a vast majority of those deaths being preventable.

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration says when it comes to crashes, people die when they drive drunk, distracted, or drowsy, or if they are speeding or unbuckled.

Half the fatalities are attributed to riding in a car without a seat belt.

A third of the deaths were due to drunk driving and one out of 10 were attributed to distracted driving.

Federal officials say nearly 100 people die everyday in traffic accidents.

It's a 7 percent increase from a year ago and reverses a decade long downtrend in vehicle deaths.

Now the federal government is calling on researchers, car makers and the public to look at the numbers and come up with solutions.

As we come to the Labor Day Holiday, remember there is a no refusal weekend in place.

There is a $200 dollar fine if you are caught not wearing a seat belt and the law applies to everyone in the car, even those in the backseat.