U.S. Highway Deaths at 60-Year Low

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The number of people dying on American highways has fallen to its lowest level since 1950, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The annual report released late Wednesday said traffic deaths dropped 9.7 last year to 33,808, the lowest number in 60 years.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the figures show that "America's roads are the safest they've ever been. But they must be safer. And we will not rest until they are."
    
The news comes despite the statistics that there are at present more drivers on the road than ever.
    
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's David Strickland credited the use of seat belts, better roads, safer cars, and the enforcement of drunk driving laws for the decline.

"But we are still losing more than 30,000 lives a year on our highways, and about a third of these involve drunk driving," he added.

Meanwhile, Transportation Department officials say they have also been seeking to crack down on distracted driving, naming the use of cell phones as the main problem.

Barbara Harsha, executive director for the Governors Highway Safety Association, said LaHood's "focus on distracted driving has brought an unprecedented focus to behavioral highway safety, and as a result, lives are being saved."

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