Early estimates by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that 31,110 people died on the nation’s roads from January through October, compared to 34,502 in 2007 during that same 10-month time period. In addition, the fatality rate per 100 million vehicles miles traveled for the first nine months of 2008 is 1.28, compared to 1.37 for 2007.
Transport Canada has not yet finished compiling 2007 traffic death totals, much less 2008 stats, but law enforcement in various jurisdictions have indicated Canada is experiencing a similar trend.
In Ontario, provincial police have seen deaths drop 30% from the same time in 2007. Double-digit decreases have also been seen in B.C. and Manitoba, according to reports.
Traffic experts suggest that skyrocketing fuel prices for the first two-thirds of 2008 sent the numbers down since people drive less often and more slowly, resulting in fewer serious crashes. (Tire Review/Akron)