The Caldarone Law Group, P.A.

Overall traffic deaths decreased in 2018, pedestrian deaths up

Florida readers might be interested to learn that, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, figures, approximately 36,500 people were killed in traffic accidents across the United States in 2018. While that number represents a 2% decrease in fatalities compared to 2017, the good news is mitigated by significant increases in traffic-related pedestrian and cyclist deaths.

The NHTSA reports that 6,283 pedestrians were killed in 2018, which is a 3% increase over 2017. Meanwhile, around 857 cyclists lost their lives in 2018, which is a 6% spike over the previous year. As a result, the agency is proposing that the US strengthen its crash-test standards to better protect "vulnerable road users," including pedestrians, cyclists and motorcycle riders. Possible upgrades to the US testing system could include new labeling rules, improved crash-test dummies and official ratings on pedestrian detection and emergency braking systems. Such changes would more closely align US safety standards with those already used in Europe.

Despite recent concerns over the high number of US traffic deaths each year, federal statistics show the rate of fatalities per 100 million miles driven is dropping. For example, an average of 3.4 Americans was killed per 100 million miles driven in 1975. However, the rate dropped to 1.1 Americans per 100 million miles driven in 2018. As for 2019, preliminary numbers show that there were nearly 600 fewer traffic deaths over the first half of the year than there were during the same period in 2018.

Car accidents are often caused by drivers who are distracted, speeding, impaired or otherwise negligent. Victims who are injured by negligent drivers might have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit to receive compensation for damages, including lost wages and medical expenses. An attorney could assess a victim's case and advise him or her of the most appropriate course of action.

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