05/07/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Recession's Upside: Everything From Cheaper Homes To Fewer Highway Deaths

Yes, there is an upside to the recession.

Home prices have fallen, vacations are cheaper and you can buy that pair of boots you've been ogling for months at 50% off.

In addition to cheaper consumer goods, there are some surprising benefits to the economic slump, like fewer highway deaths.

On Monday, the AP reported that just 37,313 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes last year, 9.1% lower than 2007. It's the fewest deaths since 1961.

Some industries are also getting a boost. Take the media companies, for example. TV viewership is soaring as more of us stay home and watch the evening news rather than shell out $10 at the movies.

Car washes are another surprising beneficiary of the economic downturn. In a bid to get in on the action, Proctor and Gamble of Mr. Clean fame has acquired Carnett's Car Wash - an Atlanta-based franchise with 14 locations.