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U.S. traffic fatalities down 1.6 percent

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Feb. 27, 2012—The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently reported that fatalities in motor vehicle crashes were down 1.6 percent during the first three quarters of 2011 compared to the first three quarters of 2010.

The NHTSA said 24,050 people died in motor vehicle crashes between January and September 2011, compared to 24,437 people who died during the same time frame in 2010.

Data reported by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) revealed that vehicle miles traveled during the first three quarters of 2011 decreased by roughly 29.8 billion miles, or 1.3 percent, compared to 2010. Fatality rates per 100 million vehicle miles traveled marginally decreased from 1.09 in 2010 to 1.08 in 2011.

Fatalities in motor vehicle crashes have been on a downward trend since 2005 when the number of fatalities peaked to 43,510, and fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled was 1.46, according to the NHTSA. The organization said 32,885 fatalities were reported in 2010, a 24 percent reduction compared to 2005, and fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled dropped to 1.1.

The NHTSA said the reduced number of traffic fatalities is significantly due to a decline in crashes involving young drivers. The NHTSA projects that traffic fatality numbers for the full calendar year of 2011 will be the lowest in the agency’s history. A full fatality report for 2011 will be release_notesd in March.

Visit the NHTSA’s website to view the full motor vehicle crash fatality analysis from 2005 through 2011.

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