In its 2011 analysis of traffic deaths, the National Highway Safety Administration reported that the traffic fatalities dropped 1.9%, to 32,367 during 2011. This decline came along with a decline in the number of miles driven which dropped 1.2 percent.
The death rate in 2011 dropped to the lowest fatality rate ever recorded. The rate was 1.10 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2011, down from 1.11 deaths per 100 million vehicles miles traveled in 2010.
Unfortunately, the deaths of bicyclists on the public highways rose sharply in 2011. Perhaps this increase in bicycle deaths reflects the fact that more people are riding bicycles to work and for pleasure according to Jonathan Adkins, Deputy Executive Director of the Governors' Highway Safety Association, an agency which represents state highway safety agencies.
Washington, DC experienced a 175% increase in bicyclists during the morning and evening rush hours since 2004.
In recognition of the sharp increase in the number of bicyclists traveling on the public streets and highways Mr. Adkins noted that, "Our culture is beginning to move away from driving and toward healthier and greener modes of transportations. We need to be able to accommodate all of these forms of transportation safely."