Traffic deaths in the United States declined last year, reaching the lowest level in more than a decade, according to a government report. An estimated 41,059 people were killed in highway crashes, down by more than 1,600 from 2006. It was the lowest number of highway deaths in a year since 1994, when 40,716 people were killed. The fatality rate of 1.37 deaths for every 100 million miles traveled in 2007 was the lowest on record, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in its report.
California had the largest decline, 266 fewer fatalities than the previous year. The largest percentage decreases were in South Dakota and Vermont. North Carolina’s death toll increased the most in the nation, up 121 over the previous year. The District of Columbia and Alaska had the highest percentage increases. Motorcycle deaths increased for the tenth straight year. There were 5,154 motorcycle deaths last year, compared with 4,837 in 2006.
Fatalities in crashes that involved a driver or motorcycle rider with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08%, the legal limit, declined to just under 13,000 deaths in 2007, a 3.7% decrease. Traffic injuries fell for the eighth straight year, to fewer than 2.49 million injuries in 2007, compared with 2.58 million in 2006. And the number of people killed in large-truck crashes fell by more than 4%.
According to Adrian Lund, president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the sluggish economy was likely a factor in the declines. He predicted that the combination of a slowing economy and gas prices approaching $4 a gallon throughout the U.S. could lead to further reductions in highway deaths in 2008. Many states have reported double-digit drops in fatalities during the first part of this year.
Source: Associated Press
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.