For the first time since 2005, the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has indicated an increase in motor vehicle accident deaths in the United States. The final FARS data, which the NHTSA released last November 14, showed that the country lost 33,561 people in 30,800 fatal crashes in 2012; a 3.3 percent increase from the previous year, which stood at 32,479 from 29,867 fatal crashes in 2011.
This slight increase came after the U.S. saw a significant decline in the number of motor vehicle crash deaths over the past six years. In fact, the crash deaths for 2011 were the lowest since 1949. Before the NHTSA released its final accident data for 2012, the traffic safety agency issued a projection earlier this year estimating that the number of deaths for that year will be 34,080.
The increase in the number of crashes and resulting deaths and injuries can be seen over various crash characteristics, particularly in the type of road user. In fact, the 2012 data saw an uptick in the number of large truck occupant, pedestrian and motorcycle deaths. All of them saw an 8.9 percent, 7.1 percent and 6.4 percent increase, respectively, from the previous year.