The number of highway fatalities in Delaware and around the country declined last year according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The most-recent data indicates that highway fatalities dropped from 33,808 deaths in 2009 to 32,788 in 2010. This is the smallest number of car accident fatalities since 1949, Ward’s Auto reports.
Although U.S. New Car Assessment Program crash-test scores have fallen in recent years, a new generation of safe passenger vehicles has directly contributed to the decrease in traffic fatalities according to NHTSA officials. The lower crash-test scores are attributable to a new line of crash-test dummies and changes in the composition of the scoring process.
The news of the decline in highway fatalities is encouraging but car accidents are still the leading killer of Americans ages 3 to 34 and over 5.5 million crashes occurred in 2009. The rate of global highway fatalities has also increased. Approximately 1.3 million people die in car accidents worldwide. Ward’s Auto reports that 90 percent of these deaths are in poor and developing countries.
Technology will continue to help decrease the amount of car accident personal injuries in the United States, and the United Nation hopes that similar strides will be made worldwide through its “Decade of Action” program.
The NHTSA is also forming strategic partnerships to help reduce the amount of driver error-related crashes. “We have challenged the auto industry and the cell-phone industry to work collaboratively with us to keep the driver focus on their required task – driving – and to keep them safe,” a NHTSA official said.