Nebraska finishes 2011 with the second lowest traffic deaths in nearly 70 years.
“We finished the year at 179 fatalities compared to 190 in 2010 and that makes it now the second lowest fatality total that we’ve had since we’ve be keeping records in 1937,” according to
Fred Zwonechek, Nebraska Highway Safety Administrator.
Only in 1944, during World War II, were traffic fatalities lower. That year, 166 people died on Nebraska roads.
Zwonechek says approximately 15,000 people were injured in car wrecks in Nebraska last year with around a third of those suffering serious injuries.
Zwonechek says he really can’t pinpoint a single reason for the low number of traffic fatalities.
“It’s really hard to identify any one particular thing,” according to Zwonechek, “It really is a combination of an awful lot of things at play here.”
He does, though, mention two aspects which stand out. About 85% of Nebraska drivers buckle up, which Zwonechek says is the number one step drivers and passengers can take to keep safe. He says drivers and passengers are four times more likely to die if ejected from their vehicle. Zwonecheck says improved roads and safer cars also play a significant role in the encouraging trend.
Traffic deaths peaked in 1971, when 489 people died in traffic deaths in Nebraska.