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NHTSA estimates decline in roadway fatalities for 2018

In a preliminary report for 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that there was about a 1% decline in roadway fatalities. Whereas 37,133 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2017, 2018 saw 36,750 deaths. Minnesota should know that this is good news, considering the spike in crash fatalities that occurred in 2015 and 2016.

Prior to 2015, crash fatalities had been gradually declining. Many believe that 2015 marks the beginning of a new and more dangerous era in driving, one characterized by the increasing use of smartphones and other technology behind the wheel. While this may be true, drivers are still safer when compared to previous times. One expert said drivers were safer in 2016 than they were before 2009.

At the same time that motor vehicle crash fatalities are declining, the number of bicyclist and pedestrian deaths has been going up. The 2018 report estimates a 4% and 10% rise in bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities, respectively. Urbanization appears to be behind the increase.

According to Automotive News, cities are seeing more accidents, while rural areas are seeing fewer. Pedestrian deaths made up 16% of all traffic deaths in the U.S. in 2017, whereas they made up 12% of them in 2009. Pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists composed 33% of traffic fatalities in 2017.

Now, in any car accident, there will always be the question of who was at fault. If the driver was calling, texting, or being distracted in some other way, then he or she may have to take most of the blame. Those who are not more than 50% to blame may file a personal injury claim and be reimbursed for their losses, including vehicle repair costs and medical bills. With an attorney, they might be able to achieve a good settlement.

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