Georgia car accident deaths increased significantly from 2014 to 2015. In 2014, there were 522 fatalities in car accidents in the first six months of the year. In 2015, during the same time period from January to June, there were 657 car accident fatalities. The number of car crash deaths in the first part of 2015 was also significantly more than the 573 people killed during the same period of time in 2013. The increase from 2013 to 2015 was a 15 percent increase in the number of people dying in car accidents in 2015, as compared to two years prior. From 2014 to 2015, the increase was even greater, with 26 percent more fatalities this year as compared with last year.
Georgia was not the only state where more crashes happened. The National Safety Council predicted there would be 14 percent more collision deaths nationwide in 2015, basing its guess on the data it published for the first half of the year. Now, new data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows the rise in fatalities was not quite as bad as expected- but was still very significant.
Rise in Car Accident Fatalities Occurs Nationwide in 2015
According to NHTSA fatality data:
- 2014 had the lowest fatality rate on record. There were 1.07 deaths in car accidents for every 100 million vehicle miles traveled in the United States. In 2015, however, fatality rates are up 4.4 percent. Higher fatality rates mean crashes didn't just increase due to more drivers on the road. It means the drivers who were driving were less safe and had more accidents per miles driven.
- In 2014, 32,675 people died in car accidents, with 21,022 of the victims in vehicles at the time of their death. This was a slight decline of .1 percent compared with the year before. Cyclist death had also declined by 2.3 percent, and 726 bicycle riders were killed in 2014. Pedestrian deaths had risen by 3.1 percent, however, with 4,884 pedestrians killed in car accidents. In addition, 1,565 motorcyclists were killed in 2014.
- The number of people killed in car accidents in 2015, based on preliminary data, is 8.1 percent greater than the number of people killed in car accidents in 2014.
The significant increase in both deaths and the fatality rate comes after several years in which there appeared to be a downward trend of fatal crashes. NHTSA indicated the increase was a "troubling departure" from the downward trend when it released its statement, and the agency asked that the numbers serve as a "call to action" to prompt motorists to start trying to be safer as they drive.
Motorists entering into 2016 should try to do their part to bring next year's death toll down to close to the record lows where it was in 2013. More people are driving now because of lower gas prices and a better economy, but extra motorists on the road shouldn't translate to extra accidents if drivers make a point to exercise reasonable care and avoid engaging in high-risk behaviors.