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Traffic Deaths in US Fall to Lowest Level in 60 Years

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The number of Americans killed on roads last year fell to its lowest level in 60 years despite a jump in miles traveled, government officials announced Friday.

According to projections by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic deaths declined to 32,788 in 2010, marking a three percent drop from the previous year and the lowest number of fatalities since 1949.  Moreover, since 2005, the total number of deaths has dropped by 25 percent.

The drop came even as Americans drove further in 2010, tacking on close to 21 billion more miles on their odometers than they did the year before, the NHTSA said.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the decrease in traffic deaths comes in part because more people are buckling up.

"We've had a very strong Click It or Ticket campaign for 20 years where we have persuaded 85 percent of the people to buckle up," LaHood told ABC News.

Yet the secretary declared "we can't rest on our laurels" since over 30,00 people still died, and pledged the government will remain vigilant about stopping traffic deaths.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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