and increased law enforcement has resulted in the lowest driving fatality rate ever last year. There were 41,059 traffic deaths in 2007, down 1,600 from 2006. Fatalities are now at 1.37 per 100 million miles traveled, which is the lowest number since the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
started keeping track. The proliferation of safety technology, like side curtain
, stability control, and traction control, are apparently helping to make our roads safer, and good old-fashioned seat belts are being used more than ever. The "Click it or Ticket" campaign isn't the only way law enforcement has helped to lower fatalities either, as increased drunken driving patrols have lead to a 3.7% decline in deaths. Still, 13,000 people died last year as a result of drunken driving, which is 13,000 too many.
News on the safety front isn't as good for
drivers, though. A record 5,154 bikers lost their lives on U.S. roads in 2007, which is over 200 more than in 2006. Part of the reason for that increase is that there are more motorcycle drivers on the road, with 6 million motorcycles registered last year, up 2.2 million in the past decade.