Advertisement

Traffic deaths up 7 percent in Maryland, down 1 percent nationwide

Roadway deaths in Maryland have increased for three years in a row, following decades of steady declines.

In contrast, traffic deaths dropped 1 percent nationwide last year, according to data from the National Safety Council. The NSC said the slight dip signaled a leveling off after a steep two-year increase.

Advertisement

Preliminary data from the Maryland Department of Transportation show that in 2017, 557 people died in traffic crashes on roadways in the state. That's 35 more deaths than in the previous year — and a 7 percent rise compared to 2016.

It's in keeping with a deadly pattern. In 2016, 523 people died in traffic crashes on the state's roads, up slightly from the 521 who died in the previous year.

In 2014, 442 people died in traffic-related incidents in Maryland, which was the lowest number since 1948 and about half the 872 deaths on Maryland roadways in 1968, the deadliest year on record.

State officials called on drivers to do more to prevent crashes, noting that around half of all crash victims have substances in their system such as drugs or alcohol.

"Every death on a Maryland road is preventable," MDTA Police Chief Colonel Jerry Jones said in a release.

The state aims to reduce highway deaths by 50 percent by 2030.

Advertisement
Advertisement