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
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
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]."