NHTSA reports slight drop in traffic deaths

Traffic accident fatalities in Kentucky and around the country that have surged in recent years dropped slightly in 2018 according to a recently released report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. NHTSA figures indicate that road deaths were down by 2.4% in 2018 and are on track to fall by 3.4% in 2019. The federal watchdog says that advanced automobile safety technology like automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning systems are largely responsible for the fall in accident fatalities, but the data suggests that these features do little to protect the nation’s most vulnerable road users.

The NHTSA road safety report shows that pedestrian fatalities rose by a worrying 3.4% in 2018, and cyclist deaths increased by an even more alarming 6.3%. Pedestrian deaths have risen by more than 50% since 2009, and the 6,283 pedestrians struck and killed by motor vehicles in 2018 make up the highest such death toll since 1990 according to NHTSA.

These figures suggest that pedestrian detection systems are largely ineffective. This is worrying because drivers rely on these features and tend to overestimate their capabilities. NHTSA is said to be planning a revision of its crash-testing protocols to include evaluations of autonomous safety systems. The agency is also working with the Federal Highway Administration to find ways to better protect pedestrians and cyclists.

The report also reveals that virtually all road deaths are preventable, and the vast majority of car accidents are caused by some sort of human error. However, establishing which motorist was at fault in court is sometimes a contentious process. When representing clients who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, experienced personal injury attorneys may look for evidence of negligence in police reports and crash scene investigations. Attorneys might also have the vehicles involved inspected for signs of neglected maintenance, substandard repairs or defective safety equipment.