The number of people killed or seriously injured in a road traffic accident fell by 7% last year, according to government figures.
The Office for National Statistics said 34,500 people died or were seriously hurt in road traffic accidents in 2004 - 2,715 less than the previous year.
Experts say the fall in road traffic accidents is attributable to improvements in car and road safety.
Encouraging road traffic accident figures
The total number of casualties, including slight injuries, fell by 3% overall in 2004.
The government aims to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured by 40% by 2010.
"There are different reasons for the fall but it is mainly down to improved road safety measures and programmes like the THINK! campaign which have helped to bring the overall road traffic accident rate down."
Richard Brunstrom, the head of road policing for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), and Chief Constable of North Wales Police, welcomed the new figures:
"I am pleased that road safety campaigns are having a real effect on the safety of our roads and I hope that the number of people killed or injured on our roads continues to fall," he said.
But research conducted by the Privilege insurance company showed that 24% of drivers failed to report road traffic accidents to insurers or the police in 2004.
Although the majority of incidents were minor, 3% involved a car being written off.
A further 2% of road traffic accidents which resulted in injury, also went unreported.
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