Making Sense of Deadly Traffic Accidents
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published its data set of traffic-related deaths for 2015 three months ahead of schedule to highlight the unusually high increase in deaths compared to 2014. Because this is the largest single-year increase in 50 years, NHTSA has issued a call to action to nonprofits, private companies, and concerned citizens to analyze this data and propose solutions that could make roads safer. Researchers can access the data through NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, which contains detailed, anonymized data on vehicle crash deaths for the period 1975 to 2015, including information such as geographic location, roadway conditions, weather, and the driver’s record. NHTSA hopes the data will help reveal how larger trends in manufacturing, public health, climate change, or economic conditions may help explain the rise in crash fatalities.