Highway crash deaths dropped to the lowest point since 1949 according to federal safety regulators.
Data released today reveals that those incidents dropped 1.9 percent to 32,367 which is also the lowest number since 1949. The decline can be attributed to several factors including driver education and better safety systems.
“The latest numbers show how the tireless work of our safety agencies and partners, coupled with significant advances in technology and continued public education, can really make a difference on our roadways,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “As we look to the future, it will be more important than ever to build on this progress by continuing to tackle head-on issues like seat belt use, drunk driving, and driver distraction.”
Drunk and distracted driving are both issues police are trying to tackle, but less complicated factors are almost certainly at play also. Last month, NHTSA revealed that seat belt use reached 86 percent — an all-time high.
Other mesures expected soon will also likely help to send that figure even lower. Most new cars have black boxes that record crash data, but not all. On December 6, the White House Office of Management Budget completed a review of a proposal that would make such equipment mandatory, like electronic stability control already is, in all new cars.
While black boxes won’t prevent an impending crash, the information gleaned from them could help automakers build cars to better-withstand a crash.