TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Kansas Department of Transportation officials are reporting a drop in the number of traffic fatalities in 2013 to 344 deaths, the lowest number since statistics were first kept in 1947.
KDOT says in a news release Friday that the previous low was 385 fatalities in 2008. The highest number of deaths was 780, in 1969.
The numbers for 2013 were preliminary and unofficial, but would mark an improvement from 405 fatalities in 2012.
KDOT officials attributed the decline to several factors, including the condition of Kansas roads, better law enforcement, emergency responders and safer vehicles.
Safety engineer Steve Buckley says drivers can help reduce the number of deaths by eliminating distractions, wearing seat belts and not driving drunk.