The majority of that reduction came from passenger vehicles, with light truck fatalities dropping for the third consecutive year. However, the reduction hasn't taken place across the board – motorcycle fatalities continue their upwards trajectory with 5,290 riders meeting their demise on the road, comprising 14% of all roadway fatalities and continuing an eleven-year increase. Naturally, injuries were down as well, with 2.35 million people involved in crashes in 2008 compared to 2.49 in 2007, and the metric of 100 Million Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) was also down to 1.27 in 2008, compared to 1.36 the previous year.
You can check out NHTSA's full report here (Warning: PDF) and get a full breakdown on the stats from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety here.
[Source: NHTSA, IIHS | Image: Gabriel Bouys/Getty/AFP]