Annual traffic crash deaths are on the verge of dropping below 40,000 for the first time since the early 1960s, and it's not solely because our miserable economy is taking drivers off the roads.
The nation is in the midst of a big decline in driving....
Other reasons, too, seem obvious. Long term, more people are wearing seatbelts -- 83% nationwide, according to the transportation department. Automakers are building safer vehicles. Roads, meanwhile, have been designed in recent decades with fewer sharp curves and dangerous hills, and more safety features such as median barriers, said FHWA spokesman Doug Hecox.
But the rapid drop in fatalities is outpacing the decline in travel and advances in technology.