US Road Fatalities, Lowest Since 1950
It is for the second year in the row when this dreaded number drops, after in 2008 the report showed the lowest number of fatalities since 1961. For 2009, the number represents a 9.7 percent drop from the numbers registered in 2008. The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) also dropped to an historic low of 1.13 in 2009.
One of the most endangered categories on the roads, the motorcyclists, managed to break the 11 year streak on increase in fatalities by dropping 24 percent. Still, motorcycle fatalities account for 13 percent of all the people killed on US roads.
The number of people injured in 2009, 2.2 million, is lower than the 2.9 million registered in 2008, being at the same time the lowest number since NHTSA began estimating injury data in 1988 and the tenth year of reduction in the number of people injured.
DOT and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) say the reasons behind the drop in the number of fatalities can be attributed to many factors, including “economy, unemployment, improvements in vehicle design, and highway safety programs.” The drop in alcohol related crashes is also a cause for the drop in fatalities.
As you can see for yourselves however, better drivers themselves are not cited as being among the reasons which led to the drop.