Recently, the US Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood announced that the number and rate of traffic fatalities in 2010 fell to the lowest levels since 1949, despite the increase in miles traveled during the year.
Last year’s drop in traffic fatalities is [great]news[;] it proves that we can make a difference…Still, too many of our friends and neighbors are killed in [avoidable] roadway tragedies every day. We will continue doing everything possible to make cars safer, increase belt use, put a stop to drunk driving and distracted driving to encourage drivers to put safety first.
-US Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood
It has been reported that the number of traffic fatalities dropped 3% between 2009 and 2010, from 33,808 to 32,788. Since 2005, fatalities have dropped 25% from the 43,510 deaths during that year.
The greatest drop in fatalities exist in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska, with a 12% decrease. Arizona, California and Hawaii also had one of the steepest declines at nearly 11%.
However, for all you New England drivers out there, you are included in one of the only regions that has an INCREASE in fatal car crashes, with an 18% climb.
In 2009, Secretary LaHood launched a national anti-distracted driving campaign, along with a dedicated website, to provide the public with a detailed source of information on distracted driving.
The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has also been encouraging the use of Safety Edge technology–which reduces drivers’ risk of running off the road by shaping pavement edges on new roads and highway projects. FHWA has also promoted the use of ‘rumble strips’ and cable median drivers to separate opposing directions of traffic to reduce the incidence of head-on collisions.
To view NHTSA’s latest statistical projections of traffic fatalities in 2010, click here.
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