Death rates from traffic accidents have plunged by 41 per cent in the last decade, latest figures have revealed.
Numbers of deaths in road accidents fell from 56.6 per million in 2001 to 33.6 per million in 2010.
For the first time, people are now more likely to die in accidental falls – a growing problem linked to the ageing population which is believed to be significantly underestimated by official figures.
The Office for National Statistics said although road accidents remained a major cause of accidental death, claiming 1,970 lives in England and Wales in 2010, a series of campaigns and new regulations targeting road safety had led to the reduction.
Regular improvements in car safety were also likely to have contributed to the decline in deaths over the last decade, statisticians added.