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NHTSA Report Show Safer Roads in 2010

By Aline Miranda on May 25, 2011

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently reported fatalities on US highways declined by over 1,000 people over the past year. Total fatal accidents for 2010 are expected to be 32,788, down from 33,808 in 2009. This is the lowest since 1949.

NHTSA Deputy Administrator Ronald Medford believes the reduction is due to stricter driving laws and improved safety technology. For example, when the NHTSA crash tests new cars, they now use more accurate and sensitive crash dummies and multiple tests for front, side and rollover impacts. According to Medford, the newer tests resulted in lower safety ratings for vehicle safety due to increases in safety standards. Car manufacturers have responded by improving the safety rating of their vehicles through better technology.

A decline in traffic fatalities is great news, but there were still 5.5 million car accidents in the US during 2009, many of which were preventable. According to Medford, stricter driving laws and technological advancements help, but they can’t completely solve problems such as distracted driving and drunk driving. Preventing these dangerous behaviors ultimately comes down to personal choices.

Source: “NHTSA to Report Decline in U.S. Highway Fatalities,” Herb Shuldiner, 04 May 2011.

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