A new analysis by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the US finds that safety upgrades have saved 328,551 US lives since lap belts became standard equipment in 1960. That's roughly the population of Pittsburgh.
In 1960, 4.6 people were killed for every 100 million passenger-vehicle miles on America's highways. Today, according to NHTSA, the fatality rate is 1.25 deaths per 100 million miles.
The improvements include obvious things such as padded dashboards, air bags, child safety seats and shoulder belts, and some things most people never notice, such as better adhesives that help keep windshields - and passengers - in cars in crashes