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NHTSA reports on 2018 traffic fatalities

Florida drivers may be safer on the roads than in some previous years, but pedestrians may be at a greater risk. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2018, fatalities from motor vehicle accidents dropped for the second year in a row, and estimates from the first half of 2019 show the trend is continuing.

This follows two years of increases, which experts say was likely due to an improved economy that led to more people driving. In 2018, the drop in fatalities overall was 2.4%. The NHTSA says more safety technology in vehicles is one significant factor. However, pedestrian deaths increased 3.4%. For people on vehicles with pedals, including bicycles, the increase was more than 6%. There was also a very slight increase of less than 1% of deaths in wrecks involving large trucks.

Consumer Reports magazine says that the more than 6,000 pedestrian fatalities is the highest for 28 years. Overall, since 2009, pedestrian deaths have risen more than 50%. The NHTSA also reported a drop in motorcycle deaths of more than 4%. Fatalities attributable to alcohol and speeding were also down. Around three-fourths of pedestrian deaths happened after dark, and a similar percentage happened away from intersections. Alcohol was a factor in some pedestrian and cyclist deaths.

People who are in car accidents should make a note of as much information as possible if they are able. This might include taking photographs and getting a copy of the police report. This may help an injured victim since the driver who causes the accident may also be responsible for expenses associated with the injury. However, it can sometimes be difficult to get insurance companies to pay these costs. An attorney might be able to negotiate with the insurance company or help in filing a lawsuit.

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