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Traffic-related fatalities reach record low in 2010

Posted On Tue, April 5, 2011

There's some good news to report about road safety.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood recently announced that the number of traffic-related fatalities has reached a record low despite an increase in the number of vehicles travelling America's highways.

"Last year's drop in traffic fatalities is welcome news and it proves that we can make a difference," LaHood said.

While 2010 was a record year, the number of people dying as a result of car accidents has been on the decline since 2005. That year, 43,510 traffic fatalities occurred, but that number has dropped every year to its new record low of 33,808.

Still, LaHood said the Transportation Department will work to get the number down even further.

The DOT attributes the decline to a combination of enhancements, such as stepped-up DUI enforcement, safer roads, high seatbelt use and improved safety features in cars.

Auto insurance companies take these features into account when deciding what premiums to charge policyholders. Before purchasing a new vehicle, motorists may want to consult with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to see what 2011 models have been given Top Safety Pick awards. 

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