According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatal crashes showed a decline in 2014. Unfortunately, data from the first six months of 2015 show crash fatalities back on the rise; reading into those statistics, gains made in highway safety in 2014 were lost in the first part of 2015.
Traffic fatalities reached record lows in 2014; the same cannot be said for 2015. The NHTSA estimates that the fatality rate is up by 8.1 percent over the same time last year.
What does this mean for Maryland drivers?
These latest statistics are a call to action for road users throughout the United States, according to the NHTSA. What can you do to promote safety on the highway when traveling throughout the state?
- Utilizing safety belts appropriately and properly?
- Buckling in small children to an age- and weight-appropriate car seat?
- Designating a driver or calling a taxi after having a few drinks?
- Pulling over when you feel tired, rather than seeking out and extra 10, 15 or 50 miles behind the wheel?
- Putting down your cell phone while behind the wheel and focusing on the road ahead?
The NHTSA is not forgetting about pedestrians and cyclists in their data collection. Maryland drivers should not forget about them as well. Keep an eye out for people traveling by foot or on two wheels, bicycles, AND motorcycles. Across the nation, there has been a decline in cyclist deaths; however, pedestrians are involved in fatal accidents at an increasing rate, nearing almost 5,000 total fatalities in 2014.