Many people across the nation work to reduce the number of deaths due to traffic incidents. From automakers to agencies like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, preventing fatal crashes is a high priority. A recent study conducted by the NHTSA shows that these efforts are paying off overall, but there is one area of concern.
If you’re the type of person who likes to use a bicycle or walk from place to place, you may be interested to know that the rates of fatal traffic accidents involving pedestrians or cyclists aren’t following the overall downward trend. In fact, here in Texas, those rates rose in 2018. Fortunately, experts are aware of the problem and hope that lawmakers will consider solutions.
Some crash rates falling
First, the NHTSA’s study showed improvement in fatal motor vehicle crash rates overall for 2018. The number of fatal crashes dropped by 2.4% for the United States as a whole. The rates of fatal crashes in Texas also fell by 2.4%. Deaths due to fatal crashes involving alcohol went down by 2.8%. That means that in 2018 over 36,000 people died in a fatal crash in the U.S.
Experts say that the data reveals that safety improvements to cars are working. The drops in fatal crashes happened to the majority of types of motor vehicles. They also saw the drop when looking at crashes involving speeding or use of alcohol.
Other crash rates rising
However, some other categories had an increase in fatal crashes. There was a rise in fatalities for people in large trucks at 0.8%. As concerning as that is, a few other types of crashes have researchers worried.
The rates of crashes that result in the death of a pedestrian jumped by 3.4%. If that wasn’t bad enough, deaths of cyclists rose by 6.3%. Though these numbers may seem small, it means that 259 more pedestrians and cyclists died in a traffic crash in 2018 than in 2017.
How did this happen?
Researchers say that the rise indicates that, while safety improvements keep people in cars safer, they aren’t doing the same for pedestrians and cyclists. They suggest making improvements to roadways and infrastructure in order to combat this problem. They also point to the fact that fatalities in rural areas have dropped while those in urban centers went up. This backs up their theory because city centers are more likely to have pedestrians and cyclists having closer and more frequent contact with motor vehicles.
No matter what the numbers say, if someone you care about loses his or her life in a pedestrian or bicycle accident, statistics are the last thing on your mind. It could turn your world upside down in an instant. A wrongful death claim may be the best course of action as it can serve as a way to hold those responsible accountable.