While the total number of traffic fatalities declined from the year before, 2018 was the deadliest year for pedestrians and cyclists since 1990, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The agency released its latest statistics on Oct. 22, saying 6,283 pedestrians were killed in 2018, an increase of 3.4% from 2017 while the number of cyclists increased by 6.3% with 857 fatalities. NHTSA says 17 pedestrians and two cyclists are killed every day, on average.
Other key findings from the 2018 report
NHTSA says 36,560 people were killed in vehicle crashes on U.S. roadways last year, a 2.4% decrease from 2017. Other significant results include:
- Fatal crashes involving large trucks increased by 0.8%
- Alcohol-related fatalities decreased by 3.6%
- Speeding-related fatalities decreased by 5.7%
- Motorcyclist fatalities decreased by 4.7%
- Rollover crash deaths fell 9.5%
Potential causes for increased pedestrian and cycle fatalities
Some attribute the increases to distracted drivers as well as a continuing trend for Americans to buy larger SUVs and trucks. While larger vehicles protect drivers and their passengers, that protection comes at the expense of cyclists and pedestrians who are harder to see and suffer from heavier impacts.
Safety advocates say the statistics show state and local governments must take steps to protect walkers and cyclists by lowering speed limits, creating more bike lanes and pedestrian-only spaces as well as improving traffic signals and crosswalks.
Two disturbing statistics revealed over trucks and distracted drivers
While traffic deaths resulting from crashes involving semitrucks rose less than 1% overall, the number of pedestrians and cyclists killed by big rigs saw a significant increase of 9.7%. Researchers also said nearly 10% of all crashes in 2018 involved a distracted driver. If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, an experienced personal injury attorney here in Minnesota can help you hold the responsible party or parties accountable and get the compensation you deserve.