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Road Deaths Declining

Traffic deaths are at their lowest levels since 1949, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. NHTSA’s study shows that an estimated 32,310 people died in traffic accidents in the U.S. last year, which is down 1.7% compared to 2010.

New England and Great Lakes states saw the biggest decrease in car accident deaths in 2011, with the former down 7.2% and the latter down 3.3%. However, traffic deaths were up 3.3% in California, Arizona and Hawaii in 2011.

For the most part, though, the numbers have been in a steady decline throughout the country during the last five years, with fatality rates decreasing 26% from 2005 to 2011.

AAA says several factors have caused the decline, namely that U.S. motorists drove 1.2% fewer miles last year and gas prices increased 6.7%. Vehicles are also getting safer, with more safety features becoming standard equipment on new cars each year.

U.S. road deaths fall to lowest number since '49 (The Detroit News)