A recent article authored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration calls select vehicle accident numbers “a troubling departure from a general downward trend.”

United States Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is a bit more succinct, terming them “a call to action.”

What those numbers indicate is this: Traffic-related fatalities nationally seemingly spiked upward during the first half of 2015 as compared with the same period from last year. In fact, they jumped by more than 8 percent.

And the statistics relating to roadway deaths during 2014 were hardly positive. In fact, NHTSA-derived numbers indicate that, on average, nearly 90 people died in the United States in motor vehicle crashes every day last year.

Is there a single underlying cause for the fatality spike this year, or a few specific catalysts that can be readily pointed to and addressed?

That doesn’t seem to be the case. In fact, the NHTSA has noted that a series of countrywide safety meetings it will oversee next year will address a broad array of accident-related factors. Those centrally include drunk and drugged driving; speeding; drowsy and distracted driving; and the failure of motorists to properly use vehicle safety features.

The above-cited article notes a few “stubbornly constant” contributors to fatal accident outcomes, though. Reportedly, about one of every three roadway deaths involves one or more drunk drivers. And many Southern California readers of this blog might find it surprising to hear that about half of all motorists who died in accidents during 2013 were reportedly not wearing seat belts.

The NHTSA states that nearly 33,000 people died last year in fatal motor vehicle accidents that occurred across the country.