In late October, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation, released its annual fatal crash data report for 2018. These most recent statistics show that the number of overall fatalities last year was 2.4% less than the previous one. There was a significant decrease in highway fatalities between 2016 and 2017 as well.
NHTSA data shows that 36,560 individuals died on U.S. roadways in 2018. This is 913 fewer deaths than those that occurred in 2017. Those same statistics show that the fatality rate per 100 million miles also went down 3.4% to 1.13 this past year. This is the lowest that the fatality rate has been since 2014.
Some other interesting statistics stood out when researchers analyzed the data. They found that the number of motorcyclists who died on U.S. highways declined 4.7% in 2018. Fatalities among minors 14-years-old or younger also decreased by 10.3%. The incidence rate of fatal crashes that could be attributed to speeding decreased by 5.7%. Deadly accidents caused by alcohol declined by 3.6%.
An NHTSA administrator pointed out that they believe that many of the decreases in crashes can be attributed to improvements in automobile technology over the past few years. He noted that even when crashes do occur, they tend to be less deadly than they once were thanks in large part to the onboard safety equipment that they have. The spokesperson noted that motorists should continue to buckle up, not speed and avoid distracted or impaired driving though.
While many positives stood out among the statistics, there were many negatives as well. There was a 3.4% increase in pedestrian fatalities in 2018. There was a 6.3% uptick in pedal cyclist deaths last year as well. Most of these incidents happened when it was dark outside.
Federal regulators are constantly looking into ways to make our roadways safer for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists alike. If you have been hurt while out navigating the streets in Augusta or elsewhere in Georgia, then an attorney can help you secure compensation for your injuries. Your lawyer can also help you file a wrongful death lawsuit if you’ve lost a loved one in such a crash as well.