Traffic fatalities increased 13.5 percent in the first three months of 2012, according to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the second largest increase since the NHTSA began tracking the data. The last increase during the first quarter was recorded in 2006 and was a 3.5 percent increase.
In the preliminary data the administration analyzed, they discovered that vehicle mileage increased approximately 1.4 percent within that time period and the number of fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles increased to 1.10 fatalities, up from 0.98 fatalities in 2011. NHTSA estimates 7,630 people have died as a result of motor vehicle crashes from January – March.
Researchers said some of the increase may be due to warmer temperatures during the winter months, therefore increasing the amount of motorists on the roadways.
The report noted that despite the increase, it is premature to note a significant rise in fatalities for the year. It was also noted that the 2011 report showed deaths at a 60-year low, therefore any comparison may seem artificially high.
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