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Pedestrian, cyclist deaths rise even as car fatalities decline

While statistics show that motor vehicle accident fatalities are down overall, there are certain types of fatal accidents that are becoming more common. The most notable of these are accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists.

As we noted on this blog recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's comprehensive annual report showed that traffic fatalities fell 2.4% last year. It was the second year in a row that the number of traffic deaths declined. However, the same report found a 3.4% increase in pedestrian deaths. The NHTSA found 6,283 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle collisions in 2018, making up about 17% of all fatalities in motor vehicle accidents. This was the highest percentage since 1990.

Meanwhile, bicyclists make up about 2% of fatalities in motor vehicle crashes, and the number of cyclists killed every year rises at a steady rate.

After finding the decrease in overall fatalities, researchers said that improved auto safety features are making a big difference. They believe that airbags, seatbelts, electronic detection features and other technological innovations have saved many lives for drivers and occupants of cars. Unfortunately, these innovations don't necessarily protect pedestrians and bicyclists. For the most part, cyclists and pedestrians are just as vulnerable to a car accident as they were 30 years ago.

Because they are so vulnerable, cyclists and pedestrians are much more likely to face severe injury or death in any accident. The medical expenses, lost wages and other damages faced by the injured and their families are enormous. A personal injury attorney can help the injured and their families evaluate their options for pursuing compensation.

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