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By Ed Barrena, East County News Service

September 4, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - The National Safety Council has announced some startling data about America’s roads.  They released a report on Monday estimating that traffic deaths for the first six months of 2015 were up 14% over the same period during the previous year, with serious injuries up 30%.  Approximately 19,000 deaths have occurred on US roads from January through June of this year.

Some of the increase has been attributed to an improvement in the economy and lower gas prices. The uptick in the economy leads to more drivers on the roads going to and from work according to the report. However, even with more drivers on the road, this increase is startling. If the trend continues, 2015 could be the deadliest year since 2007 when there were over 41,000 people killed in traffic crashes, according to the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The NSC recommends the following for safer driving:

  • Make sure every passenger buckles up on every trip
  • Designate an alcohol and drug-free driver or arrange alternate transportation
  • Get plenty of sleep and take regular breaks to avoid fatigue
  • Never use a cell phone behind the wheel, even hands-free
  • Stay engaged in teens' driving habits. Teens are three times as likely to crash as more experienced drivers.
  • Learn about your vehicle's safety systems and how to use them. My Car Does What can help drivers understand the ins and outs of features such as adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning systems and backup cameras.


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