2009 saw the lowest traffic fatalities ever recorded according to the US Transportation Department. Highway deaths fell to 33,808 for the year, the lowest number since 1950. In fact, fatalities declined in all categories of vehicles including motorcycles, breaking an 11-year cycle of annual increases.
Alcohol impaired driving fatalities declined by 7.4 percent in 2009 – 10,839 compared to 11,711 reported in 2008. Overall, 33 states and Puerto Rico experienced a decline in the number of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in 2009 compared to 2008.
"Today's numbers reflect the tangible benefits of record seat belt use and strong anti-drunk driving enforcement campaigns," said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. "But we are still losing more than 30,000 lives a year on our highways, and about a third of these involve drunk driving."
Read More – US Department of Transportation, News Release Sept 9, 2010