Traffic deaths: ‘Troubling increase’ in 2015

U.S. traffic fatalities show a "troubling increase" for the first six months of the year, federal officials say. The 2015 fatality estimate is up just over 8 percent from deaths in the same period last year, the U.S. Department of Transportation said Nov. 24. Distracted driving accounted for 10 percent of all crash fatalities in 2014, killing 3,179 people, the DOT said. The DOT's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that while the spike in 2015 deaths could be reduced as final numbers come in, "the estimated increase represents a troubling departure from a general … [Read more...]

Saskatchewan deaths down after impounds

Saskatchewan has seen distracted driving crashes and fatalities fall in the wake of a year-old law that allows for seizure of serial offenders' vehicles. Preliminary numbers for 2014 show "quite a significant decrease" from 2012 and 2013. In 2014, there were 26 fatalities and about 600 injuries linked to distractions, according to Saskatchewan Government Insurance. They resulted from about 3,300 collisions. In 2012, distracted/non-attentive drivers were linked to about 7,500 crashes with 69 deaths and more than 2,500 injuries. In 2010, Saskatchewan set a $280 fine for handheld cell … [Read more...]

U.S. traffic deaths up 14% so far in 2015

U.S. traffic deaths are up 14 percent for the first six months of 2015, with serious injuries posting a 30 percent increase, the National Safety Council says. At least three states are reporting midyear spikes in fatalities, and all of them are being linked to distracted driving. Through June, almost 19,000 died in traffic crashes across the nation. More than 2.2 million were seriously injured, compared with the first six months of 2014. The numbers have "the country on pace for its deadliest driving year since 2007," the NSC warns. "Follow the numbers: the trend we are seeing on … [Read more...]

Distracted deputy won’t be prosecuted

A Southern California lawman won't face criminal charges despite killing a man while driving distracted, county prosecutors have decided. In Calabasas, a suburb of Los Angeles, Deputy Andrew Wood was electronically communicating with another deputy at the time he hit and killed bicyclist Milton Olin, and therefore couldn't be prosecuted for vehicular manslaughter, the L.A. County Prosecutor's Office concluded. Wood was using his work laptop while driving along a quiet stretch of suburban road. The deputy said he failed to see the bicyclist, a music industry attorney, and did not brake … [Read more...]

Distracted deaths down, injuries up

Distracted driving crashes killed fewer people in 2012, but the number of injuries was up significantly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said 3,328 died in the distracted driving crashes, down slightly from 2011's 3,360 fatalities. About 421,000 injuries occurred in 2012, a 9 percent increase from the previous year (387,000). The NHTSA said it is "just beginning to identify distraction-related accidents," so the totals of death and injuries no doubt are higher -- as has been the case since use of mobile communications devices while behind the wheel became an issue in … [Read more...]