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2017-10-07 05:24

Image: iStock

Washington - The government says traffic fatalities rose 5.6% last year as Americans continued to travel more.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said 37 461 lives were lost on US roads.

The fatality rate was 1.18 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, a 2.6% increase from the previous year.

At the same time, the total number of vehicle miles traveled on US roads rose 2.2%.

Motorcyclist deaths were up 5.1% and pedestrian deaths were up 9%, accounting for more than a third of increase in fatalities compared to 2015.

Deaths related to distracted and drowsy driving declined. Those declines were more than offset by other dangerous behaviors, including speeding, alcohol impairment and not wearing seat belts.

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