Traffic accident fatalities fell for the second year in a row in 2018, according to a new report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And the trend appears to have continued this year.
According to the NHTSA, overall traffic accident fatalities fell 2.4% in 2018. Data from the first half of this year shows a 3.4% decline from the same period in 2018.
Another statistic shows the number of traffic deaths per 100 million miles traveled fell to 1.13 in 2018, the lowest level in four years. This statistic is important because it shows allows researchers to track overall traffic safety as the number of vehicles on the road and miles traveled change from year to year.
Researchers described the results as encouraging, especially since the past two years of declines followed several years of increases. The NHTSA said the lowered fatality rates may be due partly to improved safety features in newer models of cars.
A decline in fatalities is good news, but it’s sobering to look at the total number of traffic accident fatalities. According to the NHTSA, 36,560 people died in traffic accidents in 2018, down from 37,473 in 2017. These numbers represent tens of thousands of families who have lost a loved one. And they don’t represent the many more people whose lives will never be the same after they received a permanent injury in a car accident.
People who have been injured by a negligent driver can hold the driver liable for their damages through a personal injury lawsuit. These damages can include medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other economic and non-economic costs that the injured person has suffered as a result of the accident. In the case of a fatal accident, the victim’s family can hold a negligent driver liable for their damages, including lost income.