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NHTSA: roadway fatalities dip in 2018, but concerns remain

Iowa residents should know that, according to estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2018 is the second year in a row to see a decline in roadway fatalities. In 2017, 37,133 people died in motor vehicle crashes, a 2% drop from the previous year. In 2018, the number was 36,750: about a 1% dip from 2017.

While the difference may not be considered significant, it should be kept in mind that 2015 and 2016 saw the greatest spike in roadway deaths since the 1960s. Many people believe that the rise in smartphones and in-vehicle technology is behind this dangerous trend. There are other factors, though, and they are affecting more than just those in vehicles.

NHTSA's preliminary report on 2018 estimates a 4% and 10% rise, respectively, in bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities. Another source, Automotive News, says that pedestrian fatalities have gone from composing 12% of all the nation's traffic deaths (in 2009) to 16% (in 2017). One reason for this trend may be urbanization, where more people are moving to the cities.

Automotive News confirms that the cities are experiencing more accidents and rural regions less. In 2017, pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists made up 33% of all traffic deaths. Compared to that, they made up 20% of them in 1996.

Those who are injured through the actions of a negligent driver may be able to pursue a car accident case, though they may want a lawyer to guide them and speak on their behalf either at the negotiation table or in the courtroom. It all begins with a case evaluation, where the lawyer applies the rule that only plaintiffs whose degree of fault does not exceed 50% can recover damages. The lawyer might hire third-party investigators and medical experts to help build the case up.

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