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Were Our Roads Safer in 1949?

If you answered yes, you are incorrect. Even though there are millions more cars on the road, highway deaths reached the lowest level since 1949, according to a new report released by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The record-breaking decline in traffic fatalities occurred even as American drivers traveled nearly 46 billion more miles during the year, an increase of 1.6 percent over the previous year.

“While we have more work to do to continue to protect American motorists, these numbers show we’re making historic progress when it comes to improving safety on our nation’s roadways,” said Secretary LaHood. “Thanks to the tireless work of our safety agencies and partner organizations over the past few decades, to save lives and reduce injuries, we’re saving lives, reducing injuries, and building the foundation for what we hope will be even greater success in the future.”

The Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also revealed good news. The lowest fatality rate ever was recorded last year, with 1.10 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2010, down from 1.15 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2009.

Below are several additional finding regarding the safety of U.S. roads:

  • Fatalities declined in most categories in 2010, including for occupants of passenger cars and light trucks (including SUVs, minivans and pickups).
  • Deaths in crashes involving drunk drivers dropped 4.9 percent in 2010, taking 10,228 lives compared to 10,759 in 2009.
  • Fatalities rose among pedestrians, motorcycle riders, and large truck occupants.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a San Diego car accident, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage.