TOWSON, Md. - A new study released Wednesday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that estimated traffic fatalities for the first half of 2012 increased by 9.0 percent from a year ago during the same time period.
It appears one contributing factor to the increase is a recovering economy and as a result more vehicles are on the road.
The NHTSA study shows that there were an estimated 16,290 fatal traffic related crashes from January to June of 2012. This is nearly a 10-percent increase from just a year ago during this time period when there were an estimated 14,950 fatalities during the first half of 2011.
If NHTSA's early estimates are accurate, this uptick would represent the largest percentage increase in traffic fatalities during the first half of a given year since it first began collecting data in 1975. In the first quarter of the year, there was a 13.4 increase in traffic fatalities from January to March over the same time period in 2011. There was a 5.3 percent increase in the second quarter.
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