From the OC Register:

Fewer people are dying in traffic accidents. Preliminary figures for 2009 indicate that 155 were killed in Orange  County and just under 3,100 people died statewide in traffic collisions, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety…. "If people are hurting (financially) they may not drive as much," said David Brownstone, professor of economics at UC Irvine. "If you have less traffic, you have less collisions." Brownstone, an expert in transportation economics, said another factor is that the vehicle fleet is getting newer and safer with more cars having air bags and anti-lock brakes.

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