In 2015, about 38,000 people died on U.S. roads, and an additional 4.4 million were severely hurt, according to preliminary data from the National Safety Council (NSC).
According to an NSC press release, the figure represents an eight-percent increase from that in 2014, indicating the largest year-over-year percent increase in 50 years. The data also led the Council to label 2015 as the deadliest driving year since 2008.
Increases in road fatalities were noted in Oregon, Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina, while declines in road deaths were registered in 13 states, including New Mexico, Kansas, and New Jersey.
The NSC attributed the rise in road fatalities to several factors, including a stronger economy and lower unemployment rates, as well as cheaper gas prices and more miles driven in 2015 than in 2014.
Read the NSC press release.