October has become the second-deadliest month for motorists in the past seven years and the deadliest month on the roadways last year, according to preliminary statistics released by the National Safety Council and tracked by AAA Mid-Atlatnic.

From 2010 to 2016, there were 22,107 deaths - second only to August, which had 22,370 during the same time span. In third place was July, which had 21,999 deaths.

According to preliminary numbers for 2016, October was the deadliest month last year with 3,790 deaths across the country. August was second with 3,740 and July was third with 3,560.

“Why October? So far, there is no clear consensus on the question of this disturbing rise in traffic deaths in October among traffic safety advocates and researchers,” said John B. Townsend II, manager of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Possible reasons include the spike in pedestrian deaths on Halloween and Oct. 26, and the loss of an hour of sunshine, Townsend said.

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