Traffic deaths increased 14 percent in the first six months of the year according to data by the National Safety Council.
From January to June, nearly 19,000 people died in traffic crashes across the U.S., not including two of the historically highest months for traffic deaths, July and August. "As a safety professional, it's not just disappointing but heartbreaking to see the numbers trending in the wrong direction," council President Deborah Hersman said.
Traffic deaths this year could exceed 40,000 for the first time since 2007 if the trend continues, council Hersman said. Americans drove 1.26 trillion miles in the first five months of the year, passing the previous record of 1.23 trillion set in May 2007, the U.S. Department of Transportation said last month.