Early estimates of 2011 traffic fatalities have the figure at 32,310 people, the lowest since 1949 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Even though it’s just a statistical projection, that suggests traffic fatalities have dropped 1.7 percent compared to 2010 which is also in line with the fact that Americans drove 1.2 percent fewer miles in 2011. Traffic fatalities as a whole have been on the decline over the last five years, with much of it being attributed to enhance safety features on today’s vehicles. It peaked in 2005 at 43,510.
NHTSA also broke its study down by regions with the Northeastern seeing a 7.2-percent decline in traffic fatalities from 2010 to 2011. California, Arizona, and Hawaii saw a rise of 3.3 percent, but those were the only regions that increased over the year.
Total vehicles miles traveled by Americans in 2011 clocked in at around 35.7 billion miles with 1.09 fatalities per 100 million miles traveled.