By Tessa Berenson
July 1, 2016

Traffic deaths spiked by almost 8% in 2015 amid a surge of drivers on the road thanks to low gas prices and a healthier economy.

According to a release by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there was a 7.7 percent increase in motor vehicle traffic deaths in 2015. An estimated 35,200 people died in 2015, up from 32,675 in 2014.

“As the economy has improved and gas prices have fallen, more Americans are driving more miles,” NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said in a statement. “But that only explains part of the increase. Ninety-four percent of crashes can be tied back to a human choice or error, so we know we need to focus our efforts on improving human behavior while promoting vehicle technology that not only protects people in crashes, but helps prevent crashes in the first place.”

 

Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.berenson@time.com.

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