The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study has revealed that better designed and safer vehicles have helped to decrease crashes and deaths on the roads.

The police crash data report suggested that better car design standards between model years 2000 and 2008 have saved 2,000 lives and prevented one million injuries in 2008.

US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said between better safety practices developed at the Department of Transportation and improved designs by automakers, the country is making real progress, protecting drivers and passengers nationwide.

"We celebrate the historic decline in deaths and injuries on our roads as we remain laser-focused on continuing to improve safety," LaHood added.

NHTSA administrator David Strickland said the agency expects this trend to continue as automakers add advanced safety features to fleets and continue to improve vehicle designs to earn top safety ratings under the newly updated five-star crash-test programme.

"Safer cars, along with safer drivers and roads, are key components in ensuring the annual number of traffic fatalities remains on a downward trajectory," Strickland added.

The NHTSA report also indicated that the chance of escaping crash injuries has increased from 79% to 82% between 2000 and 2008, while traffic fatalities have declined in the past decade, falling to 32,885 in 2010, the lowest in 60 years.

NHTSA is a Department of Transportation agency that directs the highway safety and consumer programmes. Its report used statistical models to isolate vehicle improvements from human and environmental factors.