Photo/IllutrationTHE ASAHI SHIMBUN

Nationwide traffic deaths this year look set to hit an all-time low, falling below the current record set in 1949, according to National Police Agency figures.

The tally as of Dec. 27 was 3,637, or roughly 10 fatalities per day.

If this pace continues through midnight Dec. 31, the annual figure will be lower than the 3,790 deaths recorded in 1949, a year after such statistics were first kept.

The highest toll on record was 16,765 deaths in 1970. The figure dropped below 10,000 in 1996 and has been dropping ever since.

In 2016, traffic fatalities fell below 4,000 for the first time in 67 years.

As of the end of November, traffic deaths this year totaled 3,312, of which 1,799 were those aged 65 or older, 84 fewer than in the same period the previous year.

But the percentage of elderly people is still high at 54.3 percent.

The government is hoping to reduce annual traffic deaths to 2,500 or less by 2020. To achieve this, the NPA plans to strengthen measures to prevent accidents involving elderly people.