California motorists might remember that there was an alarming spike in U.S. car crash fatalities a couple of years ago, causing traffic safety advocates to worry. However, those numbers now appear to be trending downward, according to new statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
According to the latest NHTSA data, 36,560 people were killed on U.S. roads in 2018, which is a 2.4% dip from 2017’s total. The agency also reports that preliminary data from the first half of 2019 shows that car accident deaths are down 3.4% compared to the first six months of 2018. This reverses the sharp spikes in fatalities that occurred in 2015 and 2016. Those increases were blamed on people driving more miles as a result of an improving U.S. economy. Experts believe advanced safety technologies on newer vehicles are at least partially responsible for the current downward trend.
While this is all good news, there is also some troubling information in the new data. Nearly 6,300 pedestrians were killed in 2018, which is a 3.4% increase from 2017. That number also represents the highest total of pedestrian deaths since 1990. In addition, bicyclist deaths shot up 6.3% last year, and fatalities from large truck crashes went up nearly 1%. According to the Truck Safety Coalition, large truck accidents have increased by 46.5% over the last decade. The nonprofit organization blames the rise in deaths on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s failure to require the installation of automatic emergency braking systems and other advanced safety technologies on commercial trucks. In 2018, 4,951 people died in crashes involving large trucks.
Costa Mesa auto accident injury lawyers might be able to help car accident victims obtain compensation for their injuries when the crash was due to the negligence of another motorist. Victims could have their case evaluated by scheduling a consultation with a lawyer.