(NEW YORK) — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced Friday that the amount of traffic deaths increased about 9.3 percent in the first nine months of 2015.
The number of highway casualties rose from 23,796 in the first nine months of 2014 to 26,000 in the first nine months of 2015, the NHTSA noted in a statement.
NHTSA said the rise in highway deaths comes after “years of steady, gradual declines” – deaths declined 22 percent from 2000 to 2014.
“We’re seeing red flags across the U.S. and we’re not waiting for the situation to develop further,” NHTSA Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind said in Friday’s statement. “It’s time to drive behavioral changes in traffic safety and that means taking on new initiatives and addressing persistent issues like drunk driving and failure to wear seat belts.”
According to the NHTSA, 94 percent of all crashes are caused by humans.
The agency is holding a summit in Sacramento Friday to look at the dangerous behaviors that could lead to crashes and determine how to address them.
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