Traffic deaths have increased to the highest level since 1990. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the increase was due to more motorcycle and pedestrian deaths.
43,443 people were killed on the highways last year, up 1.4 percent from 42,836 in 2004, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It was the highest number in a single year since 1990, when 44,599 people were killed.
Traffic related deaths increased in 26 states and the District of Columbia. NHTSA said it was investigating the increase in pedestrian deaths, which increased from 4,675 in 2004 to 4,881 in 2005.
The number of motorists killed in rollover crashes increased 2.1 percent, to 10,816. The number of rollover fatalities in sport utility vehicles dropped 1.8 percent.
Safety groups said more attention should be placed on traffic issues, arguing that a single airplane crash could lead to public outcries while more than 40,000 deaths on the roads fail to generate much response.
“There is a serious problem out there and the countermeasures we are pursuing may be good, but they’re not enough,” said Jacqueline Gillan, vice president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.