NHTSA: Traffic fatalities up sharply in first half of 2012

October 3, 2012

Washington – Traffic fatalities increased a projected 9 percent in the first half of 2012 compared with 2011 – the largest percentage increase for a half-year time period on record, according to preliminary traffic fatality data (.pdf file) from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Among the findings:

  • Estimated traffic fatalities in the first quarter of 2012 increased an estimated 13.5 percent compared with the first quarter of 2011, and the second quarter increased about 5.3 percent.
  • An estimated 16,290 people died in motor vehicle crashes in the first half of 2012, compared with the estimated 14,950 in the first half of 2011.
  • The estimated number of fatalities per million vehicle miles traveled for the first half of 2012 was 1.12, compared with 1.04 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in the first half of 2011.

Researchers noted that the estimated 2011 comparison data represents a 60-year low and was part of a multiyear downward trend in traffic fatalities.