Traffic Deaths At Lowest Level In 10 Years

Traffic Deaths: Car and truck after collision with down arrow.
Traffic deaths in the United States declined last year, reaching the lowest level in more than a decade.

Some 41,059 people were killed in highway crashes, down by more than 1,000 from 2006.

The fatality rate of 1.37 deaths for every 100 million miles traveled in 2007 was the lowest on record, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in its report Thursday.

California had the largest decline, 266 fewer fatalities than the previous year. The largest percentage decreases were in South Dakota and Vermont.

North Carolina's death toll increased the most in the nation, up 121 over the previous year. The District of Columbia and Alaska had the highest percentage increases.

Motorcycle deaths increased for the 10th straight year. There were 5,154 motorcycle deaths last year, compared with 4,837 in 2006.