WASHINGTON — Traffic deaths nationally were down last year to their lowest level since record-keeping began in 1949.
But not in North Dakota, where they were up 41%, the biggest increase of any state.
Fourteen states, including California, recorded an increase in motor vehicle fatalities, even though the 32,367 traffic deaths last year were down 1.9% from the previous year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The traffic safety agency this year projected a record low in 2011 traffic deaths as motorists drove less, perhaps because of high gas prices and a still-difficult economy. On Monday, the agency released updated numbers, confirming 1.10 deaths for every 100 million vehicle miles traveled.