An improved economy and lower gas prices have lead to increased driving, according to preliminary government data released last Friday. Americans apparently drove some 3.1 trillion miles in 2015, more than ever before.

Unfortunately, with increased driving came increased traffic fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatalities rose 7.7 percent to 35,200 in 2015, the highest numbers since 2008, when 37,423 people were killed.

Motorcyclists are likewise becoming a bigger percentage of the overall fatalities. Some attribute this increase in fatalities to weaker state laws regarding the use of helmets.

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