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New England saw over 18% more fatalities in 2010 than 2009  (Source: Detroit News)
Less deaths thanks to safer cars and other factors

Despite all the warnings and talk about traffic fatalities related to distracted driving and texting while driving, many continue these unsafe activities. Despite the continued ignoring of law in many states by many drivers, the death rate from traffic fatalities has declined in 2010.

What's impressive about the decline in deaths from traffic accidents in 2010 is that it happened despite the fact that more driver miles were reported in 2010. This is the fifth straight year that a reduction in fatalities on the nation's highways has been recorded. In 2010, the number of deaths in on the roads in America dropped to 32,788. That is the lowest number since 1949 according to federal regulators.

Fatalities also declined 3.2% compared to the number from 2009. The highway miles increased in 2010 to about 20.5 billion miles more than in 2009.

However, there are three areas in the U.S that saw an increase in traffic fatalities in 2010. The areas include New England and the Midwest with fatalities up 18.9% in New England and 3.9% in the Midwest. The figures are based on projections with final numbers to be released this summer.

The 2010 fatality rate is expected to be 1.09 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled; the rate was 1.13 per 100 million miles in 2009.

"Last year's drop in traffic fatalities is welcome news and it proves that we can make a difference," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Still, 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."

LaHood is one of the driving forces behind the bans on texting while driving and the push to hands free technology. However, LaHood isn't opposed to seeking bans on hands free tech as well if it is found to contribute to accidents on the nation's roads. The reduced deaths are attributed to better policing of drunk drivers and safer cars among other things.

David Strickland from the NHTSA said, "NHTSA will continue pressing forward on all of our safety initiatives to make sure our roads are as safe [as possible]."

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RE: "We don't care"
By Pjotr on 4/2/2011 7:26:46 AM , Rating: 2
If you trust your fellow citizens so much that you don't think we need laws and safety measures, then shouldn't we also start trusting our fellow citizens enough to get rid of our guns too?

RE: "We don't care"
By The Raven on 4/6/2011 12:49:23 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't imply that we need NO LAW. I was trying to imply that it will NEVER BE ENOUGH at the rate we are going.

And I personally use all (or at least most) of these new technologies to various extents VOLUNTARILY because though I trust that 99.99% of the population does not want to die in an auto accident or be responsible for the death of another if they do. But accidents will happen on the road. And that is why it is sound thinking to use the various safety devices.

Basically the question should be: Who do you trust more? Your fellow citizen at the wheel, or your fellow citizen at the ballot box/checkout line? Because the gov't is controlled by the results of what the citizenry chooses to do. Be it drive while rocking out to the stereo or watching Charlie Sheen unravel instead of paying attention to our troops dying in Afghanistan.

We can't get away from trusting our neighbors. We should make choices to mitigate the resulting risks, but what I choose to do that might be different than what you choose.

Personally I trust my neighbors enough that I do not choose to own a gun right now. But someone else out there might be in a different situation/neighborhood and I leave that choice up to them as they have me. (I have jumped through the hoops and ponied up the fees to now be permitted to have a CCW in case I do though).

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