Kansas City, MO – For one thing, people are just driving less. The lousy economy and high gas prices earlier this year have pushed down what officials call "vehicle miles traveled" by about three and a half percent. But Mary Peters, the US Secretary of Transportation, says traffic fatalities dropped almost three times as much by 10 percent.
Ms. Peters: The improvements we seen in lower numbers of fatalities and injuries are disproportionate to that drop off in vehicle miles traveled which tells us that we're making progress.
Peters says record seat belt use, pushed by tough, well publicized new laws, has helped. She says a lot more people are driving cars and trucks equipped with systems the help keep them from skidding out of control. They're also using better child seats and driving on safer roads.
All told the, risk associated with driving a given distance in the United States, has never been lower.