Traffic Stats

The number of children younger than 16 killed in car crashes in Virginia dropped by nearly 21 percent last year.

The Department of Motor Vehicles, released its 2001 traffic crash statistics Friday.

Forty-two children under 16 died in traffic accidents last year, down from 53 in 2000. The D-M-V says the figures reflect a national trend as parents become more diligent about making sure their kids are buckled up and safety seats are properly installed.

Virginia's fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled also decreased slightly, from 1.16 to 1.08. There were five more deaths last year than the year before ... but the number of miles traveled was significantly higher.

The statistics continue to show the danger of failing to buckle up. Even though more than 70 percent of Virginians use their seat belts, 63 percent of all vehicle occupants killed last year were NOT buckled.

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