Preliminary research from a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study released at the beginning of July, indicates that there has been a 7.7% increase in all traffic accident deaths over the past year. In 2015, more than 35,000 individuals suffered fatal injuries as a result of a traffic accident, an increase from the 32,675 fatalities in 2014. Using these projections to look ahead into the future, fatalities will be at their highest levels since 2008 when more than 37,000 traffic deaths were reported.  For the country as a whole, 9 out of 10 studied regions saw spikes in traffic deaths.

Vehicle miles traveled for drivers in the United States increased in recent years. Experts believe that’s partly due to the fact that gas prices have dropped, encouraging Americans to drive and put more miles on their cars.

Fatalities also increased during the same period to miles traveled. If you have been injured in a serious accident on California’s roads, you need to consult with a personal injury attorney about your rights. If your loved ones suffered fatal injuries as a result of an accident on these roads, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim.

This recent study comes in light of the fact that NHTSA has been pushing further research and deployment of technologies designed to minimize vehicle accident deaths, including autonomous vehicles. Despite many laws designed to curb accidents and dangerous driving behavior and technologies geared towards preventing accidents, traffic deaths are still a major concern across the country.