Estimated 2012 traffic fatalities up 5.3 percent: study

May 15, 2013

Washington – An estimated 34,080 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2012, a 5.3 percent increase over the previous year and the first year-to-year increase since 2005, according to a new report (.pdf file) from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Researchers from NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis compared preliminary data on traffic fatalities in 2012 to the number of fatalities reported in 2011. Among the findings:

  • The number of vehicle miles traveled increased about 0.3 percent in 2012, to 9.1 billion miles.
  • The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2012 increased to 1.16, an increase from 2011 (1.10).
  • The number of fatalities in 2012 increased the most between January and March, by an estimated 12.6 percent.

NHTSA said it will continue to gather data on crash fatalities from police reports and other sources.