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North Country

2012: State Traffic Death Ups, Heavy Toll On Baby Boomer Motorcyclists

Traffic deaths increased in 2012 in New Hampshire with alcohol and failing to wear seat belts or helmets again being major factors, according to a new report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In the study federal officials estimated Americans drove roughly the same number of miles in 2012 as in 2011.

Overall there were 108 traffic fatalities in the state in 2012, an increase of 20 percent over the previous year.

Thirty percent of those deaths involved alcohol. 

That compares to 31 percent nationally.

The safety agency defines alcohol-impaired as a blood-alcohol level of .08 or higher.

And 71 percent of those killed in passenger vehicles were not wearing seat belts.

That compares to about 52 percent nationally.

The dead included 29 motorcyclists, compared to 14 the previous year.

Almost two thirds of those killed were not wearing helmets.

Seventeen of those riders were Baby Boomers.

Nationally 33,561 people died in traffic accidents in 2012, a 3.3 percent increase over the previous year, according to a nationwide summary.