WASHINGTON (AP) — Preliminary data show traffic deaths were up 9 percent in the first six months of this year compared to the same period last year, continuing a surge in deaths that began two years ago as the economy improved and travel picked up.

The National Safety Council, which gets its information from state authorities, estimates that 19,100 people have been killed on U.S. roads from January through June. That's 18 percent more than two years ago at the six-month mark. About 2.2 million people were seriously injured.

U.S. drivers have also put in a record number of miles on the road in the first half of this year. States with the biggest increases since the upward trend began in 2014 include Vermont, Oregon, New Hampshire, Idaho, Florida, Iowa, Georgia, and Indiana.