Traffic deaths down 4% from a year ago

Traffic deaths down 4% from a year ago

Traffic deaths in the first quarter of 2013 fell 4.4 percent from a year ago, to 7,200, according to estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The number of deaths per vehicle miles traveled (VMT) has been decreasing steadily since the first quarter of 2012.

Last year saw an unexpected rise in traffic deaths, though NHTSA just lowered its estimate to 4.4 percent – still a big jump. Over the long term, traffic deaths were at a 60-year low in 2011. They dropped 26 percent from 2005 to 2011.

One possible factor in the decline in death rates is the decrease in vehicle miles traveled. VMT edged down 0.8 percent in the first quarter of 2013.

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