Deadly car crashes spiked for a second consecutive year in 2016 nationwide hitting a nine year high.

Speeding, not wearing seat belts, and a rise in motorcycle deaths are the top reasons why the National Highway Traffic Administration says the country’s highways saw over 37,000 deaths last year, up 5.6% from 2015. 

Nevada is no exception to seeing an increase. In 2016, deaths were up by two from the previous year. Thus far, Nevada is on a positive track for 2017.

“We are 20 fatalities below where we were at the same time last year,” said Lieutenant Kevin Honea with the Nevada Highway Patrol. 

Motorcycle deaths were up 48% last year in the Silver State, but that is also seeing a decrease thanks to targeted enforcement. 

“Across the state we saw a reduction in motorcycle crashes because we identified that at the end of last year and is one of our focal points.”

NHP thanks grant money that allows law enforcement agencies to work together to enforce the ways most people die on the road.

“We focus on speeding which is a contributing factor in over half of our fatal crashes throughout the state. We focus on seat belt enforcement.”

And of course there's the distracted driving epidemic, which is also a culprit. 

“Driving a 3,000 pound killing machine deserves all of your attention.”

With less than three months left in the year, Nevada could end up contributing to fewer fatalities on the nation's roads in 2017.

“We're guardedly optimistic we're on the right track as far as 2017.”

Click here for more on Nevada's 'Zero Fatalities' campaign.