Fewer People Are Dying on the Road

By Sanford Ellowitz on April 12th, 2010
Auto Insurance

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced that the overall number of traffic fatalities reported in 2009 has reached the lowest levels since 1954. This news may indicate that U.S. roads are becoming safer, as the 2009 figures mark a 22 percent decline from 2005 when the number of traffic fatalities peaked.

The final traffic fatality figures won't be available until summer 2010, but according to early projections the fatality rate reached the lowest ever recorded rate in 2009. The fatality rate is separate from the overall number of traffic fatalities and accounts for the number of miles traveled. In 2009, the fatality rate is estimated at 1.16 fatalities per 100 million Vehicle Miles Traveled; an 8.9 percent decline from 2008.

Safer Roads

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the decline could be attributed to safer roads, safer cars, and motorists driving less, as well as two safety campaigns:

  • Click It or Ticket. The seat belt campaign is aimed at increasing seat belt use throughout the U.S. Men ages 18 to 34, who are less likely to use seat belts, are the target audience of the program. According to the NHTSA, Click It or Ticket may be responsible for the 83 percent seat belt usage rate
  • Drunk Driving. Over The Limit. Under Arrest. The NHTSA's Impaired Driving Division launched the Drunk Driving. Over The Limit. Under Arrest., buzzed driving is drunk driving, and the Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk campaigns to stop impaired driving (both alcohol and drugs). According to the NHTSA, these programs are meant to save lives, prevent injuries, and save on costs associated with impaired driving

Drive Safely

Always use a seat belt, never drive while under the influence of any intoxicant, and, if you can, avoid periods of heavy holiday traffic. Good driving may save your life, but it can also help save money on your auto insurance. Infractions, such as driving under the influence (DUI), are dangerous and can raise your auto insurance premiums.

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