Traffic safety measures, running the gamut from drunk driving enforcement to better technology, may have been responsible for preventing nearly 6 million deaths in the United States between 1968 and 2015.

It’s always difficult for researchers to estimate the true lives saved or other positive aspects of legislation and enforcement, but past data is used to figure out how traffic accidents would have likely played out if there were no changes to policy.

If traffic safety measures are deployed and used the right way, they can help to cut down on dangerous behaviors and preventing accidents. Some studies argue that traffic safety measures can be pinpointed as saving many lives in recent decades.

That’s according to a new research, identifying that without state and federal policies, traffic deaths would have been in hundreds of thousands rather than tens of thousands.

The research was published in the Journal of Public Health Policy by an injury epidemiology expert. This is nearly ten times higher than a previous government estimate for the same period and some believe that the research results are far too high. 

The newest study was peer-reviewed and it looked at increases in young and experienced drivers, population growth and the rising number of registered cars, trucks and motorcycles in recent decades. Some of the biggest life savers were laws on the books that required people to buckle their seat belts. Seat belt use has increased in many different states around the country.