American highways can be dangerous places for people in Oklahoma and across the country. Still, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration highlighted some positive movement, reporting that fatalities linked to car crashes declined by 2.4% in 2018, a drop for the second year in a row following a spike in 2015. According to the NHTSA, this decline is largely linked to better, safer cars produced with technological updates that can make crashes less likely. However, the toll taken by motor vehicle accidents continues to be significant. Around 36,560 people were killed on the roads in 2018, and hundreds of thousands more were severely injured.
The NHTSA said that the positive trend was continuing in 2019 with car crash fatalities down 3.4% in the first half of 2018. However, nearly all motor vehicle collisions remain preventable, it emphasized. The NHTSA noted a troubling trend for pedestrians and cyclists. In 2018, 6,283 walkers were killed in crashes, an increase of 3.4% and the highest number since 1990, while 6.3% more cyclists lost their lives in collisions. Crashes involving large trucks also continued to kill more people with a 1% increase in fatalities over 2017.
There are several factors the NHTSA highlighted that contributed to ongoing fatalities and catastrophic injuries linked to collisions. For example, 76% of pedestrians and 50% of bicyclists killed were hit by cars after dark. It noted that 7.8% of all traffic deaths are caused by distracted drivers not paying attention to the road ahead. The agency also reported that it is looking into other tests that could accurately assess how well some vehicles perform in pedestrian crashes.
When people are injured in car accidents, they can suffer long-term, catastrophic consequences. A personal injury lawyer may help people hurt in a crash caused by someone else’s negligence seek compensation for their damages.