NHTSA estimates slight drop in road deaths in 2018

| Jun 28, 2019 | Car Wrecks |

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that there was a 1% decrease in fatal roadway crashes from 2017 to 2018: from 37,133 fatalities to 36,750, to be specific. While it is not a dramatic decrease, it is better than the increase that occurred in 2015. Mississippi residents may remember that that year saw the first spike in fatalities since the 1960s.

People have been wondering ever since if new technology and the potential distraction they are to drivers may be behind this trend. This may be true. Another factor in the rise is urbanization with more and more people moving to urban areas. This affects not only drivers but also bicyclists and pedestrians.

NHTSA estimates a 4% increase in bicyclist deaths in 2018 and a 10% jump in pedestrian fatalities. At the same time, motor vehicle crash fatalities have stabilized in numbers for the past few years. 2017 itself saw a 2% decrease in fatalities compared to 2016.

According to Automotive News, pedestrians made up 12% of traffic fatalities in the U.S. in 2009, but in 2016, that number was 16%. More car crashes are occurring in cities than in rural areas. In 1996, vehicle occupants made up 80% of all roadway deaths, whereas in 2017 that percentage was 67%. The remaining 33% were composed of pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists.

Those who are involved in an auto wreck, whether they are drivers, pedestrians or cyclists, may be able to recover damages. This could cover economic and non-economic losses like medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. Victims may want to consult with a personal injury lawyer before filing a claim. They may even leave all negotiations to their lawyer, and if a settlement cannot be reached, they might litigate.