The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced last week that traffic deaths in the United States have fallen to their lowest level in 60 years. The 33,808 deaths represented a 9.7 decline from 2008. The number of injuries were also significantly reduced, down from 2.35 million in 2008 to 2.22 million in 2009. The NHTSA reported that fatalities have dropped for seven years in a row. A number of factors were attributed to the decline, including the economy, unemployment, improvements in vehicle design and highway safety programs, according to Clarence Ditlow, the Executive Director for the Center for Auto Safety. An interesting statistic: about 53% of those killed in traffic crashes were not wearing seat belts.
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