The state of Florida is certainly no stranger to car accidents. The state has a notorious reputation when it comes to pedestrian accidents. Still, across the country, the number of fatal car crashes has been dropping over the last several years, and if the numbers hold, 2011 will go down as the least deadly year ever.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 32,310 traffic deaths in the U.S. in 2011. That’s down about 2 percent from the 32, 885 deaths the prior year. It also is the lowest number since records started being kept way back in 1949.
Also, the number of deaths per million miles traveled dropped to 1.09. That’s down from 1.11 in 2010 and from 1.46 back in 2005. That year, there were 43,510 traffic deaths in the country.
The numbers held steady or dropped in 48 states, including Florida. Curiously, however, the number of deadly accidents actually increased by 3.3 percent in both Arizona and California, although why isn’t entirely clear.
There is also no corresponding research available as to why the numbers have been falling, but it’s clear that new technology and safety features have played a pivotal role in reducing accidents in recent years.
You probably hear about deadly accidents on a daily basis because of how often they are featured in the news. In reality, 2011 was the safest year to be out driving in modern history. Here’s hoping the numbers continue to fall.
Source: USA Today, “Feds estimate 2011 had fewest traffic deaths on record,” Todd Spangler, May 8, 2012