Published: Sep 27, 2010 4:46 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 27, 2010 1:46 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) - The government estimates that traffic fatalities fell to fewer than 15,000 deaths during the first half of 2010, putting the year on pace for another record low.

The Transportation Department said earlier this month that traffic fatalities declined nearly 10 percent in 2009 to fewer than 34,000 deaths. That's the lowest number since 1950.

The number of people killed on the highway continues to drop. The government estimates that 14,996 people died in vehicle crashes in the first six months of 2010. That's down from 16,509 deaths during the first half of 2009.

Auto safety experts attribute the declines to the economy, more motorists buckling up and better safety technology in new cars.