The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) just released data collected from 2015 relating to fatalitiesinvolving motor vehicle accidents along roadways in the United States. Due to the complexity of the data gathering process, the annual publication of these statistics involves a slight time lag. Now analysts know that last year, 35,092 people died as a result of automotive crashes.
This grim statistic translates into nearly 97 deaths per day nationwide, almost two per state. Sadly, 2015 actually witnessed an increase in the death count compared with 2014. The latest figures reverse a gradual downward trend over the past few years in annual traffic-related fatalities.
This year, the NHTSA broke with tradition and made an unusual appeal to the public. Instead of simply crunching numbers and presenting the annual statistics concerning traffic-related deaths, the federal agency made a novel request: it asked for assistance from readers in analyzing and understanding the data. The broadly-based invitation extended to both private individuals and nonprofit and technical organizations.
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