The Boston Globe recently reported that the number of traffic deaths in Massachusetts dropped between 2007 and 2008, according to federal highway safety officials. Last year, the number of traffic deaths nationwide dropped to 37,261, the lowest level since 1961. In Massachusetts, the numbers dropped from 434 to 363, representing a 16% drop.
The counties with the highest number of traffic deaths were Middlesex and Worcester, which each had 56 deaths or 15% of the total. The number of alcohol-related crash fatalities decreased by 20%, which officials attribute to law enforcement, sobriety checkpoints, and improved driver education.
According to federal officials, early data based on the first quarter of 2009 indicates that the nationwide declining trend may continue.