It appears to Houston car accident lawyers that the steady progress that has been made in reducing car accident fatalities over the past few years is on the reverse. Preliminary estimates from the National Safety Council find that auto accident fatalities rose 5% last year, compared to the previous year. That is the first time auto accident fatalities have increased since 2005.

According to data from the National Safety Council, in 2012 there were 36,200 traffic accident fatalities across the country. That was a 5% increase from the fatality numbers in 2011.

This is the first time in many years that the annual traffic accident fatality toll has actually shown an upward trend. Since 2005 at least, federal transportation safety agencies have been recording declines in car accident fatality numbers every year.

For instance, in 2011 the number of people killed in traffic accidents across the country was 2% lower than in 2010. The National Safety Council’s data also finds that serious injuries also increased by 5% in 2012 over the previous year. There were a total of 3.9 million injuries that were serious enough to require medical attention in 2000.

It could be that this increase in injuries and fatalities is simply a byproduct of the increased driving that Americans are now doing. The economy is improving, and statistically, people have celebrated a recovering economy by being less hesitant about spending on fuel, and driving for recreation and leisure.

This increase in traffic accident fatalities is concerning, and federal agencies must analyze the data further to find out what can be done to keep motorists safe, even as they drive more than before.