WASHINGTON – The final figures aren’t yet in, but what we know so far suggests last year was a bad year for traffic fatalities. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that the number of traffic deaths has jumped for the first time in seven years.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is still compiling the numbers, but highway and road deaths could have reached 32,367 last year. If the estimate holds up it would be the first year-to-year increase in traffic deaths since 2005.
Deaths in the mid-Atlantic region, which includes the District, Maryland and Virginia as well as Kentucky, West Virginia and North Carolina, increased four percent.
The preliminary data also shows a small increase – three-tenths of one percent – in vehicle miles traveled last year.