US Highway Fatalities Down to Lowest Levels in Six Decades
A combination of improved seatbelt usage, safer cars and anti-DUI crackdowns led to a substantial drop in accident fatalities in the US in 2009.Not only are the numbers lower than they were in 2008, but they’re also the lowest than they have been in 60 years.
In 2009, 33,808 people died in highway accidents, a drop of 9.7% from the previous year.41 states, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico reported declines in highway fatalities last year.There was also a record decline in the number of deaths per 100,000,000 miles traveled, which dropped to 1.13 deaths for every 100 million vehicle miles traveled last year.
There’s even more good news.Unlike in past years, the recession is not likely a major factor in this decline.There was actually an increase of .2% in vehicle miles traveled by Americans in 2009, compared to 2008.This means that Americans traveled more last year, but didn’t necessarily get involved in more numbers of fatal accidents.
There are other factors that have contributed to this decline.Seat belt usage rates are up across the country, including in Georgia.Those rates are likely to increase in Georgia, because of a new law that requires pickup truck drivers to buckle up too.Besides, the past decade has been a golden age of sorts for auto safety.Electronic stability control systems and side airbags are now standard on most automobiles.
There are other battles to win, however.Those fatality numbers can be lowered further if we can manage to get more motorists to switch off their cell phones while driving. It’s an uphill task, but then we also thought that about lowering drunk driving accident numbers.
The Atlanta car accident lawyers at the Katz Law Firm represent injured victims of car accidents in the Atlanta region and across Georgia.