The Associated Press has reported that highway deaths have dropped to lowest levels since the 1950s. The Transportation Department projections show total traffic deaths declined nearly 9 percent in 2009 to 33,963 compared to 2008 with 37,261 people. This is the lowest amount since 1954.
Several reasons for this are more motorists are buckling up, better-drunk driving enforcements and more enforcement of traffic laws. There are more safety improvements in cars, and the economic situation leads to fewer drivers on the road.
The good news is that seat belt use climbed to 84 percent in 2009. Many states allow police to stop a vehicle for a seat belt violation; even if this is the only violation an officer observes. With new cars and trucks with side air bags that protect the head and midsection becoming standard equipment as well as electronic stability control, helps motorists avoid rollover crashes.
States have pushed tougher laws to reduce drunken driving. In addition, more stringent laws against distracted driving including text messaging have been adopted by many states.