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Traffic deaths rose 5.6 percent in 2016 as travel increased in US

TRAFFIC DEATHS ROSE 5.6 PERCENT IN 2016 AS TRAVEL INCREASED IN US

The government says traffic fatalities rose 5.6 percent last year as Americans continued to travel more.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said 37,461 lives were lost on U.S. roads. The fatality rate was 1.18 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, a 2.6 percent increase from the previous year.

At the same time, the total number of vehicle miles traveled on U.S. roads rose 2.2 percent.

Motorcyclist deaths were up 5.1 percent and pedestrian deaths were up 9 percent, accounting for more than a third of increase in fatalities compared to 2015.

Deaths related to distracted and drowsy driving declined. Those declines were more than offset by other dangerous behaviors, including speeding, alcohol impairment and not wearing seat belts.

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