US road deaths estimated to have reached nine-year high in 2016

Preliminary 2016 data from the National Safety Council (NSC) has estimated that as many as 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes in the US last year. An additional 4.6 million road users required medical attention, with an overall economic cost of $432 billion, according to the NSC’s estimates.

If confirmed, the findings would represent a 14% increase in annual fatalities since 2014 – the most dramatic two-year escalation since 1964.

“Our complacency is killing us. Americans believe there is nothing we can do to stop crashes from happening, but that isn’t true,” said Deborah Hersman, President and CEO of the NSC.

The organisation is calling for a number of measures to improve road safety, including accelerating the take-up of driver assistance technologies such as automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning systems.