Traffic deaths in the United States hit a record low in 2007, with 1.37 fatalities for every 100 million miles traveled, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Overall, there were 41,059 deaths, 1,600 fewer than in 2006.
Transportation Secretary Mary Peters attributed the decline to law-enforcement efforts and safer vehicles. As features like side airbags and electronic stability control have become more common, the chances of surviving once-fatal crashes have increased.
California had the largest decline (266 fewer deaths), while North Carolina had the largest increase (121 more).
Almost universally, experts predict that 2008 will have even fewer fatalities, not only due to reliably increasing safety standards and consumer expectations for their vehicles, but because of gas prices. As we continue to report [link], Americans are driving less than ever, and the less time spent on the road means the lower the likelihood of a fatal accident.
U.S. Traffic Death Rate at Record Low (CNN.com)