Traffic Deaths Up Nationwide

FORT SMITH (KFSM)- A woman was killed this summer after she crashed her car and hit an overpass column on Interstate 40. Also, a man and his daughter died after a car accident in Springdale. These are just two examples of a growing trend of traffic deaths.

More than 35,000 people died in crashes in 2015. That is the biggest increase since 1966. Now, 2016 is expected to be even worse with deaths already up 10.4% in just the first half of the year.

"100 fatalities a day is the equivalent of two regional jets crashing every day," National Safety Council President Debbie Hersman said. "That would be 14 regional plane crashes a week."

The Arkansas Department of Transportation said distracted driving is at an all-time high.

Low gas prices are also part of the problem, but doesn't fully explain this year's spike in fatal accidents.

"Vehicle miles traveled might be apart of it, but it's barely half of it," National Highway Traffic Safety administrator Mark Rosekind said. "So, we gotta figure out what else is going on."

The Department of Transportation has developed a coalition with a goal of ending all traffic deaths. The coalition will meet in the coming months to come up with a plan to make roads safer.

1 Comment

  • Mike Haring

    There have been 15 million new private sector jobs over the last 8 years. That’s more people in cars, some who may not driven in a while. And everyone has a cellphone. And everyone is in a hurry, fighting and clawing for every second on the highway. The instance a lane opens for more than a second people rush into it ‘so they don’t get beat’.

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