U.S. pedestrians and cyclist traffic deaths on the rise

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of traffic fatalities dropped 2.4 percent from 2017 to 2018 and the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled is at its lowest since 2014. However, these numbers only apply to drivers and vehicle passengers, not cyclists and pedestrians. In fact, the number of pedestrians killed in 2018 increased 3.4 percent from 2017, and the number of cyclist fatalities over the same time period increased a whopping 6.3 percent.

While new vehicles often come with safety features, including automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, these features may not necessarily lower the number of motor vehicle accidents. The American Automobile Association tested these features and found that vehicles with detection systems still struck dummy pedestrians 60 percent of the time during daylight hours. The AAA also found the detection systems were, for the most part, useless after dark.

The statistics also show that pedestrian deaths in urban areas has risen significantly since 2018, and pedestrians are more likely to be killed by SUVs than ever before. The design of the SUV and the fact that an SUV generally has more horsepower than a sedan, makes it more likely that a pedestrian will suffer a deadly injury if struck by one. Distracted driving in 2018 caused 12.4 percent fewer deaths than 2017 but is still a problem, according to researchers.

Driving at an excessive rate of speed, driving under the influence, and distracted driving are all common forms of driver negligence. Driver negligence is often the cause of pedestrian deaths nationwide. If you have lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, you and your family may be able to file a wrongful death suit against the negligent driver responsible for the accident. The damages you recover can cover funeral expenses and medical costs, as well as loss of income and household services. A personal injury attorney in your area can file your wrongful death claim and help you get the compensation you deserve.