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Car Accident Fatalities at Lowest Levels Since 1950

People who see the consequences of negligent driving, and work to hold bad drivers responsible for their actions, such as Florida auto accident lawyers, have been encouraged by a recent report. The Department of Transportation says that traffic deaths have fallen across the United States to levels not seen since 1950.

The report says that traffic deaths fell 9.7 percent in 2009 to 33,808, the lowest number in sixty years. In 2008, an estimated 37,423 people died on the highways.

 The annual highway safety report also found:

  • The number of people injured in motor vehicle crashes fell for a 10th consecutive year. An estimated 2.2 million people were injured in 2009, a 5.5 percent decline from 2.3 million in 2008

  • Motorcycle fatalities broke a string of 11 years of annual increases, falling by 16 percent, from 5,312 in 2008 to 4,462 in 2009.

  • Alcohol-impaired driving deaths declined 7.4 percent in 2009 to 10,839 deaths, compared with 11,711 in 2008. Alcohol-impaired fatalities fell in 33 states and Puerto Rico.


In 41 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, there were reductions in highway fatalities. Florida had the best reduction statistics, with 422 fewer deaths.

Previous economic downturns have seen reductions in fatalities, when fewer people are out on the road. Traffic deaths decreased in the early 1980s and early 1990s when difficult economic conditions led many drivers to cut back on discretionary travel.

Safety equipment that has become standard is also helping the statistics: side air bags that protect the head and midsection are becoming standard equipment on many new vehicles. Electronic stability control, which helps motorists avoid rollover crashes, is more common on new cars and trucks.

The Transportation Department also wants to crack down on distracted driving, urging states to adopt laws against sending text messages while driving.

Source: Associated Press “Highway deaths fall to lowest level since 1950” September 9, 2010

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