Nearly all of the people who died on the roads in Iowa and around the country in 2018 lost their lives in accidents that could have been prevented according to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Figures released by NHTSA on Oct. 22 reveal that motor vehicle accident fatalities in the United States fell by 2.4% in 2018 to 36,560, which the federal watchdog says is largely due to improved automobile safety technology. NHTSA says road deaths are on track to fall by 3.4% in 2019.
However, not all of the news contained in the NHTSA road safety report was positive. Pedestrian fatalities rose by 3.4%, and cyclist deaths increased by 6.3% in 2018 according to NHTSA. The number of road users killed in large truck accidents was also higher. Pedestrian deaths have risen by 53% in the last 20 years, and the 2018 death toll was the highest in almost three decades.
The figures suggest that modern car safety systems protect vehicle occupants in a crash but do little to prevent collisions with vulnerable road users. NHTSA says that it hopes to address this shortcoming by adding pedestrian detection systems to the features it scrutinizes during crash safety testing. The agency is also said to be working with the Federal Highway Administration to reduce cyclist and pedestrian fatalities.
Cyclists and pedestrians injured by negligent drivers are often unable to work for prolonged periods. When pursuing motor vehicle accident lawsuits, experienced personal injury attorneys may seek damages to compensate their clients for income they lost while they recovered from their injuries. Before calculating these damages, attorneys might consult with medical specialists to determine the long-term consequences of motor vehicle accident injuries. Attorneys may also seek compensation for financial setbacks like property damage and doctor and hospital bills.