Americans are driving more, and accidents are increasing.

The number of driving fatalities in the U.S. is up nine percent in the first half of 2016 compared to the same period last year, and up 18 percent compared to two years ago. A new report from the National Safety Council, based on preliminary estimates, says that there were 19,100 deaths on U.S. roads in the first half of this year and a total of 2.2 million serious injuries.

The NSC says the motor vehicle death rate has increased steadily since 2014, a trend it blames on U.S. drivers covering more miles. A new report from the U.S. Department of Transportation found that U.S. driving miles increased 3.3 percent in the first six months of the year, to a cumulative 1.58 trillion miles, versus 1.54 trillion miles in the same period in 2015. The NSC believes that continued low gas prices and an improving economy, which means more people are driving to work, are to thank for the increased level of driving this year.

If the rate set in the first half of this year continues, the NSC estimates that U.S. traffic deaths could exceed 40,000 for the entire year. That would be the first time that death toll has exceeded 40,000 in nine years’ time.

Source: National Safety Council

Be part of something big