As a Chicago area car and truck accident attorney, I am thrilled by the recent reports showing that “highway deaths have fallen to their lowest levels in more than 60 years.” (K.Thomas, Washington AP, 3/31).
The U.S. Department of Transportation cited a 3% decrease in highway fatalities from 2009. Moreover, the total estimated number of fatalities at 32,788 people is the lowest number since 1949. Certainly, nearly 33,000 deaths is still far too many, but the government attributed decreases in fatalities to numerous factors including higher rate of seat belt usage in consumers, technological increases making vehicles safer, and effective and widespread efforts to prevent drunk driving.
Even more promising is the fact that the decline in fatalities came during a year when Americans, on average, drove more miles. Although there is still much room for improvement, I am pleased with this report and am hopeful that seat belt usage and other preventative measures will safe more lives in the years to come.