Traffic Deaths Continue to Rise in First Half of 2016

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The upward trend of motor vehicle deaths that began in late 2014 has continued to surge through the first half of 2016, according to preliminary estimates from the National Safety Council.

The non-profit group, using data from state authorities, said deaths on U.S. roadways since January have increased 9 percent from the same period last year and 18 percent from two years ago.

The council estimates that 19,100 people have died and 2.2 million people were injured in motor vehicles from January to the end of June.

2015 marked the largest year-over-year increase in vehicle-related deaths in 50 years, according to the council.

The council warns that the grim trend is not showing any signs of improvement.

“Our complacency is killing us,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “One hundred deaths every day should outrage us. Americans should demand change to prioritize safety actions and protect ourselves from one of the leading causes of preventable death.”

U.S. roadways have seen a spike in the number of drivers since gasoline prices and unemployment rates have fallen, likely contributing to more drivers on the road and more accidents.

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