Traffic-related fatalities fell to a 62-year low in 2011.
New data shows American roads are the safest they have been in more than six decades. Road deaths declined 1.7 percent in 2011, marking the lowest total recorded since 1949.
According to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 32,310 people lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents last year, marking a 1.7 percent decline from 2010's 32,885 deaths. Although traffic fatalities have been on the decline over the last five years, last year's decrease trailed the 2.9 percent drop in deaths seen between 2009 and 2010.
Traffic fatalities have fallen 26 percent since hitting a recent high of 42,708 in 2005, according to The Detroit News.
The decrease in vehicle deaths coincides with a drop off in U.S. road travel, but the data seems to suggest safer vehicles are playing a role in the decline. Vehicle travel in the U.S. declined 1.2 percent last year, trailing the decrease of traffic fatalities.
Of all the U.S. Regions New England saw the biggest improvement in road safety, with the area seeing a 7.2 percent decrease in traffic-related deaths. The area around the Motor City also fared well, with the Great Lakes region reporting a 3.3 percent decline in deaths.