State Highway Safety Officials Concerned by Projected 8% Increase in Motor Vehicle Fatalities

Resource Type

July 1, 2016

Contact: Kara Macek,
202-789-0942 x140

State Highway Safety Officials Concerned by Projected 8% Increase in Motor Vehicle Fatalities

GHSA data indicate pedestrians and motorcyclist deaths spike even greater

Statement for attribution to
Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) Executive Director Jonathan Adkins

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The estimated 35,200 individuals killed in motor vehicle fatalities on U.S. roads in 2015 is alarming to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and our State Highway Safety Office members. This represents the largest year-over-year percentage increase (8 percent) since national record-keeping began.

Although we are still well below the more than 40,000 people killed annually just a decade ago, each death on U.S. roadways is unacceptable, and, after many years of progress, this increase is troubling.

The good news is that the solutions to reducing traffic deaths aren’t a mystery. They include strong laws coupled with highly-visible law enforcement and robust public education campaigns. By using these tactics, the nation saw a nearly 25 percent drop in the number of fatalities between 2005 and 2014, including a record low in 2011.

We are especially committed to keeping the most at-risk road users safe. While national data suggest an overall 8 percent increase in traffic 2015 fatalities, recent GHSA reports project even higher percentage increases for pedestrians and motorcyclists (10 percent each). As improving vehicle safety has increased the likelihood for passenger vehicle occupants to survive a crash, pedestrians and motorcyclists lack these same benefits and remain just as susceptible to serious injury or death in the event of a collision.

Working together and with our federal and private sector partners, we are confident that we can find the right blend of enforcement, education and engineering solutions to turn the tide and once again move toward zero deaths on our nation’s roads.

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The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy, enhance program management and promote best practices. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Contact GHSA at 202-789-0942 or visit Find us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @GHSAHQ.