Traffic Fatalities Show Significant Decrease

Traffic fatalities in Georgia and across the United States have shown a significant decline between 2008 and 2009, according to a report released on Thursday by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Georgia’s number of traffic fatalities in the period fell by 14 percent for a total of 1,495 in 2009. Florida led the nation with 422 fewer traffic fatalities in 2009, followed by Texas (405 fewer), California (353), Pennsylvania (212) and Georgia (211 fewer).
Increased seatbelt use and campaigns against drunk driving are being credited with the drop.
Nationwide, the number of deaths on America’s roads fell to 33,808 in 2009, the lowest number since 1950. The reduction comes even as the number of miles people are driving rose 0.2 percent over 2008 levels.
Fatalities fell in all categories of including motorcycles, which dropped by 850 from 2008, breaking an 11-year cycle of annual increases.
There also were fewer people injured in vehicle crashes last year, down 5.5 percent from 2008. According to the report, alcohol impaired driving fatalities declined by 7.4 percent in 2009 to 10,839 from 11,711 reported in 2008. Overall, 33 states and Puerto Rico experienced a decline in the number of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities year over year.
All crashes (fatal, injury and property damage only) were down by 5.3 percent in 2009 from a year ago.

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