Improvements in vehicle safety have resulted in a 56% decline in car-occupant deaths in the U.K. in the last 20 years.

RoadSafe, a partnership of the U.K. government, leading companies in the motor and transport industries and road-safety professionals, says the latest figures are a testament to innovation in the automotive industry.

In the last two decades, car-occupant deaths fell from 2,426 to 1,059 annually, according to the U.K.’s Department for Transport.

Between 1989 and 1999, road fatalities decreased 30%, from 2,426 to 1,687. From 1999 to 2009, they declined a further 37%, to 1,059.

The U.K. government links the drop to safety developments, including airbags and antilock brakes.

RoadSafe Director Adrian Walsh says car safety is set to improve even further with increasingly sophisticated technology.

The organization says the ideal vehicle is one that actively prevents collisions.

“It is a vision that may not be as far farfetched as it seems,” RoadSafe says in a statement. “Systems to help drivers avoid accidents are already available in some vehicles, and the European Commission is looking to make many compulsory in the next 10 years.”

Some of these technologies include warning and emergency-braking systems, lane-support systems and blind-spot monitoring.