Highway Deaths at Lowest Level in Nearly 60 Years

The National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA) recently reported that the number of people killed in motor vehicle collisions dropped to 33,808 in 2009. This is the lowest number of annual motor vehicle deaths since 1950, a time when the population of the United States was only half of today’s population of 305 million. The highest number of fatalities occurred in 1973 ā€“ three years after the creation of NHTSA ā€“ when approximately 54,000 people died in motor vehicle accidents. The estimated number of people injured in car crashes is also at its lowest level since NHTSA began tracking that statistic in 1988. The dramatic improvement in fatality and injury rates is the result of improvements in the crashworthiness of cars and pickup trucks; improved road design; and aggressive campaigns against drunk and impaired driving. Unfortunately, Alaska was one of only nine states to see an increase in vehicle deaths in 2009, from 62 deaths in 2008 to 64 deaths in 2009. However, primarily due to Alaska’s small population, Alaska also had the lowest number of motor vehicle deaths of any state in 2009. After Alaska, the states with the lowest number of motor vehicle fatalities in 2009 were Rhode Island (65), Vermont (73), North Dakota (104), Hawaii (107), South Dakota (121), and Delaware (121).

Source: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811363.pdf