U.S. Traffic Deaths Decline in 2011; Fatality Rate Hits All-Time Low

December 17, 2012 12:52 PM

U.S. Traffic Deaths Decline in 2011; Fatality Rate Hits All-Time Low
" The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has completed its analysis of traffic data from last year, and the findings are astonishing. In 2011, fewer people died on U.S. roads than at any time since 1949. Even better: once you factor in the amount of time drivers spent behind the wheel, NHSTA says that the 2011 fatality rate was as low as it’s ever been.

That said, there’s definitely room for improvement — and in fact, a couple of areas could spell trouble down the road.

TRAFFIC DEATHS & THE FATALITY RATE

As you might recall, 2010 was an historic year for U.S. drivers. That year, 32,885 people died on America’s roadways, and although the number seems high, it was a marked improvement over figures from the previous six decades.

In 2011, that number slipped again. According to NHTSA, there were 32,367 traffic-related fatalities last year, or a drop of about 1.9% from 2010. America hasn’t seen that few fatalities since 1949, when the number was 30,246.

But the comparison to mid-20th-century stats isn’t entirely fair, since Americans are traveling far more than we did in 1949. In fact, cars and trucks in the U.S "

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