cars-driving-at-sunset.jpgThe number of Americans killed on U.S. highways last year was the lowest since 1961, the Department of Transportation announced Monday.

The rate of deaths on U.S. highways also hit a record low last year — 1.28 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, down from 1.36 in 2007, the department said in a news release.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood credited more widespread seat belt use for the drop.  High gas prices may have also played a roll, taking more drivers off the road.

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