Highway deaths are at their lowest in the USA for the first time in sixty years. The Transportation department estimated Friday that 32,788 people died on US roads in 2010.The drop is a 3 percent decrease over 2009. The new safety and regulations in place have resulted in the fewest deaths since 1949 when there were more than 30,000 deaths on the highways.
States like Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska in the Pacific Northwest dropped 12 percent. The Western states like Arizona and Hawaii also had large declines in deaths.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said “Too many of our friends and neighbors are killed in preventable roadway tragedies every day,” We will continue doing everything possible to make cars safer, increase seat belt use, put a stop to drunk driving and distracted driving and encourage drivers to put safety first.”
The drop in the number of deaths has been contributed to people wearing their seat belts, better technology, and safety equipment in cars and the continued efforts to control drunk driving. Some states are even giving their officers the right to stop people who they see not wearing a seat belt even if they see no other violations going on at the time.
It has also been stated that deaths on the highways decrease in years of economic hardship because people tend to stay home more in order to save on gas.
These are just projected numbers. Specific details and exact numbers are expected to be released for each state by the Transportation department later this year.