Statistics released by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration show that deaths from roadway accidents are on the decline. Here in Massachusetts, the number of deaths on all roads declined from 476 in 2004 to 363 in 2008, the most recent year for which statistics are available. In Norfolk County, motor vehicle deaths dropped from 46 to 27 during that same period.
Traffic experts attribute this trend to the use air bags and other automotive technology, as well as greater enforcement of traffic laws.
However, the number of Massachusetts fatalities on major arterial roads and interstate highways actually increased from 2003 to 2008. Experts say these major roads pose additional hazards because of faster speeds and the fact that many motorists routinely drive 10 mph or more over the speed limit but can’t react fast enough to avert an accident.