Safer Roads Fewer Deaths

Monday, April 4, 2011 - 6:53am

Highway deaths are down significantly.

It is a milestone for a nation that enjoys hitting the road: Traffic deaths are at their lowest levels in 60 years.

The biggest progress has come in the past five.

The Transportation Department says safety car standards requiring 3-point seat belts and front and side airbags have helped save lives, along with stronger drunk driving laws and better enforcement.

In 2010, traffic fatalities dropped three percent in one year.

"Even though we have had good results for this year, they are not good enough for us," says Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "We want to do more. We want to reduce deaths to zero if that is at all possible."

Experts say car manufacturers are also using the latest technology to equip cars with alert systems that help drivers navigate roads and traffic.

When there is an accident, advances in airbags are helping minimize the impact.

The next challenge experts say is educating drivers about the latest threats on the road:
Talking on cell phones, texting and other distractions that have already proven to be deadly.

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