NHTSA: Traffic fatalities increased in first quarter of 2012

July 25, 2012

Washington – An estimated 7,630 motor vehicle traffic crashes occurred in the first three months of 2012 – a 13.5 percent increase from the 6,720 reported for the same time period in 2011, according to a report (.pdf file) from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This is the second largest increase since NHTSA began recording traffic fatality data.

Researchers analyzed preliminary traffic fatality data from the Federal Highway Administration and the Fatality Analysis Reporting System. Among the other findings:

  • Vehicle miles traveled increased by 9.7 billion miles in the first three months of 2012, a 1.4 percent increase.
  • The number of fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled increased to 1.10 fatalities, compared with 0.98 fatalities in 2011.

Researchers suggested the estimated 2012 increase in vehicle miles traveled could be attributed to an “unseasonably warmer” winter, resulting in additional traffic fatalities.