NHTSA: Road fatalities hit lowest level in six decades

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Dec. 9, 2011—U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Thursday announced that highway deaths fell to 32,885 in 2010—the nation’s lowest level since 1949, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The decline in traffic fatalities occurred even as American drivers traveled nearly 46 billion more miles throughout the year, a 1.6 percent increase compared to 2009, according to the NHTSA.

The NHTSA also reported that the U.S. experienced the lowest fatality rate ever recorded in 2010. There were 1.1 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2010, compared to 1.15 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2009.

"While we have more work to do to continue to protect American motorists, these numbers show we're making historic progress when it comes to improving safety on our nation's roadways,” LaHood said. "Thanks to the tireless work of our safety agencies and partner organizations over the past few decades, we're saving lives, reducing injuries and building the foundation for what we hope will be even greater success in the future."

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