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NHTSA: Traffic deaths down 2.4% in 2018

In 2018, there were 36,560 traffic fatalities in the U.S., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The agency states that 2018 is the second year in a row to experience a decline in such fatalities. Drivers in Georgia should know that there were 2.4% fewer fatalities and that the safety tech in newer vehicles may have partially contributed to this trend.

However, the statistics are still worrying. Nearly all of the victims died in preventable crashes. The number of pedestrian deaths was 6,283, the highest that it has been in 28 years. Consumer Reports claims that such deaths have risen 53% since 2009. From 2017 to 2018, there was a 3.4% uptick. In addition, the NHTSA reports a 1% rise in large truck crash fatalities.

The NHTSA believes that the increase in pedestrian deaths may partly be due to the rising number of SUVs on the road. Since they sit higher from the ground than cars, SUVs can make it harder for drivers to notice pedestrians and cyclists. The agency may also incorporate pedestrian detection systems and other tech in its five-star crash assessment program.

Other areas showed a decline, though. Motorcycle deaths decreased 4.7%, DUI-related crash deaths by 3.6% and speeding-related fatalities by 5.7%. First-half estimates of 2019 reveal a 3.4% decline in crash deaths overall.

While the above statistics are concerned only with fatal crashes, millions of car crashes occur that involve personal injury. Most are caused through the negligence of one or the other party, in which case those who are not at fault may seek compensation. A victim may want to ask a lawyer for advice and guidance, however, since auto insurance companies may work hard to deny payment.

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