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Pedestrian deaths close to 30-year record

Drivers have airbags and seatbelts and many other advanced technologies keeping them safe. The same goes for truck drivers. Even bicyclists and skaters often have helmets and knee pads, but pedestrians on the road have little safety precautions aside from rights of ways and crosswalks.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported an alarming personal injury trend in accidents involving a motor vehicle and a pedestrian. Despite a drop in overall traffic fatalities, the number of pedestrian deaths reached its highest level in almost 30 years.


Traffic deaths in this country fell by 913 fatalities, or 2.4%, to 36,560 from 2017 to 2018. 2018 was the second consecutive year in which traffic deaths fell. But, more pedestrians and bicyclists lost their lives in 2018, the most serious for any year since 1990. Pedestrian deaths rose by 42% over the last 10 years, although the total number of traffic deaths fell 8%.

Deaths of pedestrians rose by 3.4% to 6,283 last year. The number of bicyclists and riders of other non-motorized vehicles also climbed to 857, a 6.3% rise from 2017.

Experts blamed the growing number of distracted drivers using mobile devices for part of this trend. In February, the Governors Highway Safety Association attributed this increase to the growing sale of light trucks. According to the GHSA, pedestrian deaths involving SUVs rose by 50% compared to 30% for passenger vehicles.

The AAA recently released the results of research indicating that automatic emergency braking systems designed to prevent vehicles from hitting pedestrians did not always operate well. These devices also have a higher failure rate at night. The NHTSA reported that 75% of all pedestrian fatalities occur at night. 38% of pedestrians had alcohol in their system.

This country had 6.4 million auto accidents reported to police that had 2.7 million injuries in 2017. Accident victims may need to get more information about legal options to help ensure that their rights to compensation may be pursued.

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