(Toledo News Now) – A new study shows fatal traffic accidents are down to historic levels.
The study was just released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The study found that fatal crashes in 2011 were the lowest since 1949.
While more than 32,000 people died on U.S. highways last year, which was a 1.9 percent drop in fatalities from the year before, and a 26 percent decline since 2005.
Transportation Secretary Ray La Hood said safety agencies deserve a lot of credit, as well as significant advances in technology, such as air bags and seatbelts.
"It's a concentrated effort between us and the general public – getting them to wear [their seatbelts]," said Sergeant Shaun Robinson of the Ohio Highway Patrol. "And the increases in air bags: side air bags, sensors for weights, and so forth. And how those work in conjunction."
The study also said deaths in crashes involving drunk drivers has dropped by 2.5 percent from 2010, but the number of people killed in driver distraction crashes increased by 1.9 percent.