Amid the gloom and doom of the Detroit bailout, the burst housing bubble, and These Economic Times, it's nice to hear a bit of good news--namely, that when all is said and done, 2008 will likely have fewer traffic fatalities than any year on record
. Most experts attribute the drop in fatalities to the fact that Americans have been driving less, thanks largely to the spike in gas prices that affected much of the calendar year. (Remember $4.00 a gallon? Yeah, I'm trying to forget, too.)
It's interesting to note, however, that as gas prices have fallen to half their summertime high, Americans are still driving less
(which might be part of a larger trend
). That, combined with improvements in auto safety equipment, could lead to a further drop in the fatality rate for 2009.
See? There is some good news out there--well, except for the states that depend on oil sales for income, since oil prices keep bottoming out
). It's true what they say: you can't have it all.--Richard Read
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