Fatal Accidents on U.S. Highways Drop Two Years Straight
USA- WSAV.com has reported that deaths caused by automobile collisions throughout the United States dropped in 2018 for the second year in a row, according to traffic fatality statistics available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for last year. The amount of fatalities declined by 2.4%. NHTSA attributes the drop in fatalities at least in part due to technology in newer vehicles that is likely helping drivers avoid collisions.
The downward trend is expected to continue in 2019. The early numbers from 2019 compared to 2018 indicate that in the first half of this year, traffic deaths dropped by 3.4%. Alcohol-related traffic deaths and deadly accidents caused by speeding both dropped as well. Motorcycle deaths decreased by 4.7%. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, whose department oversees NHTSA, stated "[t]his is encouraging news, but still far too many perished or were injured, and nearly all crashes are preventable, so much more work remains to be done to make America’s roads safer for everyone." The statistics indicate that a total of 36,560 people lost their lives in automobile collisions last year.
While vehicle occupant deaths continue to go down, there was an increase in pedestrian fatalities of 3.4% and a 6.3% increase in cyclist fatalities. Statistics indicated that pedestrian fatalities were more likely to occur after dark. Nearly three-quarters of all pedestrian deaths took place in areas away from intersections.
In response to the growing number of pedestrian and cyclist incidents, the NHTSA has stated that they will be reviewing new technologies designed to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety.
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