The number of highway deaths in 2009 was the lowest since 1950. Data released by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today shows highway deaths fell last year to 33,808, the lowest number since 1950. The decrease in deaths comes as vehicle miles increased by 0.2 percent during the same time period. Overall, 41 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico saw a reduction in highway deaths. The number of people injured in crashes fell by 5.5 percent, the 10th straight year the number of injuries has decreased. Deaths due to alcohol impaired driving also fell, declining 7.4 percent in 2009.
In a statement, LaHood said, “Today’s announcement shows America’s roads are the safest they’ve ever been.” LaHood noted the Department of Transportation’s laser focus on safety as a reason for the drop in numbers. For more, visit www.dot.gov.