USA Today Excerpt January 2, 2018: Lightning killed fewer Americans last year than any year on record, marking a steady downward trend that experts attribute to more awareness, better lightning-proof construction and fewer people working in farms and fields.  Lightning killed 16 people in 2017, the fewest deaths since accurate records began in 1940, the National Weather Service said. This broke the previous record low of 23, set in 2013, weather service meteorologist John Jensenius said. The number of people killed by lightning in recent years a far cry from annual lightning deaths decades ago: In the 1940s, for instance, hundreds of people were killed each year by lightning. In 1943 alone, 432 people died. In 2001, the weather service launched a lightning safety campaign, which included the now well-known phrase “when thunder roars, go indoors.” At that time, the nation recorded about 55 lightning deaths a year. Over the past decade, an average of 27 Americans were killed each year from lightning strikes, Jensenius said.  “While we don’t like to see any lightning deaths, the continuing downward trend in yearly fatalities is encouraging,” Jensenius added. Jensenius said increased awareness prompted better lightning safety policy for outdoor sports and recreational organizations. And when lightning does strike, Jensenius said, better medical treatment and access to automatic external defibrillators “has helped save the lives of lightning strike victims.” Roughly 90% of people struck by lightning survive.