A report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finds that the number of people killed in traffic accidents on American roads dropped to its lowest level in more than 50 years. According to the report, 32,788 people died in car accidents in 2010, a 3% decrease from the previous year, and the lowest reported level of accident related deaths since 1949.
Why the decline is unclear, specifically considering Americans are driving considerably farther distances these days.
“The recession is still a little bit of a factor,” said Barbara Harsha, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association, “but the big reasons are programs aimed at driver behavior, safer vehicles and safer roads.”
The use of seat belts and anti-drunk driving campaigns have also played a role, but most believe that cars continue to get safer every year. Most new cars these days come with state-of-the art safety equipment, including multiple airbags. That wasn’t the case only 10 years ago. Experts believe that next generation safety features will continue to cut the death rate, including warning systems that tell a driver when he or she is drifting into another lane, or when they are traveling to close to a car ahead.
Read the NHTSA press release here.
Source: Los Angeles Times
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