Highway deaths in 2011 lowest since 1949: report

Washington – Highway deaths in 2011 decreased 1.9 percent from 2010 to 32,367 – the lowest level since 30,246 fatalities were reported in 1949, according to a new report (.pdf file) from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Among other findings in the report:

  • About 2.22 million people were injured in a motor vehicle crash in 2011, compared with 2.24 million in 2010.
  • Roadway fatalities involving large trucks increased 1.9 percent to 3,757, accounting for about 11.6 percent of all roadway fatalities in 2011.
  • Distraction-related crash fatalities increased 1.9 percent in 2011 to 3,331 fatalities – about 10.3 percent of all roadway fatalities that year – and the number of people injured in distraction-related crashes declined about 7 percent to 387,000.

NHTSA also released state-by-state drunk driving statistics (.pdf file) on Dec. 13 that stated 9,878 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in 2011, with 395 fatalities occurring in the second half of December. The same day, NHTSA and other roadway advocacy organizations launched the 2012 Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over TV ad campaign on the dangers of drunk driving.

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