The Finnell Firm

According to a recent final report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, the number of fatalities on the countries road dropped by almost 2.5% in 2018, down to just over 36,500 deaths.

This is the second consecutive year that the number of fatalities dropped, as 2018 saw over 900 fewer deaths than did 2017. Perhaps more impressively, the overall fatality rate dropped by well over 3% to 1.13 death per 100 million miles traveled. This suggests that even though people are traveling more in the ongoing stable economic conditions, fewer deaths are occurring.

Not all of the news in the most recent report was positive, however. For instance, the number of pedestrian fatalities continues climb, rising almost 3.5% to over 6,250 total deaths. Likewise, the number of people killed while riding bicycles or other manually powered vehicles also increased.

The number of pedestrian deaths is particularly troubling since it reached the highest number since 1990. Over the last decade, the number of pedestrian deaths has climbed by well over 40%, even as the total number of traffic fatalities fell by 8%.

Experts familiar with these numbers had a number of theories to explain this troubling statistic. Some blamed the problem on the ongoing distracted driving epidemic which continues despite the efforts of Georgia lawmakers and law enforcement officers to fight it.

Others attributed the problem to the popularity of SUVs, which, given their size, are more likely to deal a fatal blow to a pedestrian than smaller sedans. Still others pointed out that modern technology, like automatic braking, is not as effective at preventing pedestrian accidents.

Whatever the reason for the rise in pedestrian deaths, the bottom line is that Georgia drivers need to drive slowly and attentively, particularly at intersections and other places where pedestrians are likely to be in or close to the street. A careless driver who hurts or kills a pedestrian may be legally liable to pay compensation.

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