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Traffic fatalities rise 7.7% as Americans drive more miles than ever before

Traffic deaths rose to 35,200 last year, up from 32,675 the year before, according to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Americans also drove more miles than in any previous year, clocking in 3.1 trillion total miles behind the wheel, the Associated Press reports.  The traffic safety agency says it’s taking steps to make cars safer, like working with automakers to phase in technologies like automatic emergency braking, though as the recent deadly crash involving a Tesla Model S in “autopilot” mode shows, such technologies aren’t necessarily a panacea.

SM