The numbers are even worse for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Preliminary data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates 2015 could have been among the deadliest years in recent memory on American roads. The government agency predicts 35,200 died on the country’s highways last year – a 7.7-percent increase from 2014. If the final figures followed this trend, 2015 would have been the worst since 2008 when NHTSA recorded 37,423 fatalities.

One factor in the increased deaths could be that people are driving more. According to the Federal Highway Administration, people drove 107.2 billion miles in 2015. However, this was only a 3.5-percent increase from 2014, so it didn’t come close to matching the rate at which fatalities increased.

No matter how NHTSA evaluates the preliminary figures, 2015 looks like a bad year on America’s roads. Out of its 10 regions, fatalities increased in 9 of them. The worst was a 20-percent jump in the Northwest, including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska.

The problem isn’t limited to motorists, either. Compared to 2014, bicyclist deaths climbed 13 percent; pedestrians soared 10 percent; and motorcyclists jumped 9 percent. In comparison, driver deaths grew six percent, and passenger deaths increased seven percent.

NHTSA’s calculates this preliminary data from its Fatality Analysis Reporting System, but the agency is still collecting info from police crash reports and other sources. It expects to have the final information later this summer. Based on past reports, the gruesome estimates here are a good indication of what to expect from the conclusive numbers.

Source: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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