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U.S. Highway Fatalities Increased Most in 50 Years in 2015

  • Motorcycle deaths up 8 percent in data released Monday
  • More driving, lower gas prices among the factors cited
Vehicles move along the Interstate 405 freeway during rush hour in this aerial photograph taken over the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Friday, July 10, 2015.
Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

U.S. highway fatalities spiked to 35,092 last year on the highest one-year increase in the tally since 1966, the Transportation Department said.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is attributing the 7.2 percent increase in deaths on the highways to more driving due to job growth and lower gas prices as well as more driving by young people. Drunk driving, speeding and distraction from phones and other devices are contributing the the alarming increase.