Shutterstock

That's the number of U.S. traffic deaths in the first three months of this year, up 13.5 percent from the first quarter of last year.

U.S. traffic deaths are up — way up. In the first three months of this year, 7,630 people died in automobile collisions in the United States, a 13.5 percent increase from the first quarter of last year.

That stat comes from a new report [PDF] from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. If these projections hold up for the year, it will mark the "second largest year-to-year quarterly increase in fatalities since NHTSA began recording traffic fatalities."

There a couple of plausible theories for what's behind the sudden increase. Our friends over at Streetsblog note that distracted driving could be a big part of the reason, as could this year's mild winter. They write:

NHTSA says severe weather keeps people off the roads — though one might theorize that it also causes more crashes. In any event, the growth in fatalities far outpaced the growth in driving during this period. Vehicle miles traveled rose just 1.4 percent over the same time last year.

Photo credit: Baloncici /Shutterstock

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a photo of a man surveying a home garage.
    Transportation

    How Single-Family Garages Can Ease California's Housing Crisis

    Given the affordable housing crisis, California cities should encourage single-family homeowners to convert garages into apartments and accessory dwelling units.

  2. Equity

    The Hidden Horror of Hudson Yards Is How It Was Financed

    Manhattan’s new luxury mega-project was partially bankrolled by an investor visa program called EB-5, which was meant to help poverty-stricken areas.

  3. Transportation

    Electric Scooters Aren’t a Transportation Revolution Yet

    New data show a staggering rise in shared dockless e-scooter use nationwide. But commuting habits have seen little change since the dawn of micromobility.

  4. Life

    Who’s Really Buying Property in San Francisco?

    A lot of software developers, according to an unprecedented new analysis.

  5. Life

    ‘The Municipalists’ Is the Urban Planning Sci-Fi Novel You've Been Waiting For

    The buddy-cop comedy by Seth Fried imagines a war over gentrification, and says something about the way we talk about urbanism.