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MTC Study Shows Spike In Deadly Accidents In Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- A new report on Bay Area traffic concludes the roads here are more dangerous and deadly than ever.

The population boom in the Bay Area has led to more traffic, more commuters and more accidents, especially in San Francisco.

"We're just doing more driving and more vehicle trips are being taken," said Metropolitan Transportation Commission spokesperson John Goodwin. "Since the end of the recession the roadways in the Bay Area and in San Francisco in particular, have become more dangerous."

The MTC data looked at the number of fatal crashes from 2010 compared to 2016 and saw the number went up by 43 percent in the Bay Area.

But it wasn't just the number of drivers killed in crashes. There was a sharp spike in the number of cyclists and pedestrians killed, mostly in San Francisco.

"At any time, regardless of where you are, it's essential that we all be aware of all of our surroundings," said Goodwin.

He noted the data doesn't explain why crashes are on the rise, but says it's the first time in recent history the numbers are going up and says distracted driving might be playing a significant role in the increase.

"It seems a common sense conclusion to think that it's an added risk factor now that we have our electronic companions with us at all times," said Goodwin.

The big takeaway from the study was that most of the fatal crashes can be prevented. The data showed speeding, illegal turns and driving under the influence cause the majority of the deadly accidents.

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