The National Safety Commission Alerts

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Major Decrease in U.S. Highway Fatalities

Government Announces Historic Rate as Safety, Drunk Driving Outreach and Enforcement Efforts Increase

Recently, U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters announced that the number of people who died on the nation’s roads annually has reached historically low levels. In 2007, the overall number of traffic fatalities fell to 41,059, which is the lowest number of deaths since 2007. Additionally, she noted that the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled was 1.37, the lowest fatality rate on record.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began collecting injury data in 1988, and the 2.49 million people injured in highway crashes last year were the lowest seen since.

"Thanks to safer vehicles, aggressive law enforcement and our efforts, countless families were spared the devastating news that a loved one was not coming home last year," Secretary Peters said. "You can be sure that we’re not stopping here, the quest is not over until that bottom line number is zero."

Peters said motorcycle safety continues to be a problem, and that motorcycle fatalities now account for 13 percent of all fatalities. In 2007 alone, the number of motorcyclists or passengers killed on the nation’s roads increased 6.6 percent over 2006. Secretary Peters said that to address these challenges, the NHTSA is launching new advertisements that focus on motorcycle safety and drunk driving. To see the ads, visit

The Department will soon kick off its annual impaired driving enforcement crackdown, which runs through Labor Day, called "Drunk Driving. Over the limit. Under Arrest." Peters added that the Department would be relentless in its efforts to combat impaired driving, increase safety belt use and improve motorcycle safety.

"As these new statistics show, we are making progress," Peters said, "But far too many of our friends, neighbors and family members are still getting killed or seriously injured."

The NHTSA’s 2007 annual report on fatalities and injuries from 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico is available online at

Along with motor vehicle safety, driver education helps ensure the safety of Americans. Whether you're getting your Commercial Drivers License, your Learner's Permit, or your Motorcycle License, America's Driver's License Headquarters is

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