Two fewer people died in drunken-driving crashes in Utah last year than in 2006.

The total decreased from 53 victims to 51 in 2007, but overall traffic fatalities increased by 12 percent.

Nationwide, drunken-driving deaths decreased about the same rate as in Utah. National traffic fatalities also were down almost 4 percent.

A Utah Highway Patrol spokesman says the state's wide-open areas and distances between destinations mean drivers have to spend more time on the road. He says a lack of seat belt may also have led to the increase in overall traffic fatalities.