The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, or NHTSA, recently announced that they are estimating when all is said and done, there will be 36,750 traffic-related fatalities over 2018. If this estimate holds, then it will be a 1% drop from 2017 and the second year in which the number dropped.
Moreover, the fatality rate per 100 million miles driven fell from 1.16 in 2017 to 1.14 in 2018. This figure accounts for the fact that the more people drive, the more likely it is that a fatal accident will happen.
However, there is still room for improvement. Back in 2014, for instance, only 32,744 people died, meaning that between 2014 and 2018, the number of traffic fatalities has increased by over 12%.
Pedestrians in particular seem to be facing increased risks on the road. According to the most recent estimate, in 2018, 6,277 pedestrians died in traffic-related accidents. This marked the highest number of pedestrians deaths in 28 years, that is, since 1990 and was increase of 4% over 2017.
There are a number of possible reasons for the continued rise in the number of pedestrian fatalities. Distracted driving, for instance, can easily lead to an inattentive motorist's striking a pedestrian the motorist simply did not see. Other studies have connected the increase in pedestrian deaths to the ongoing popularity of SUVs, although why that might be the case is unclear.
On the whole, it seems that the country is a long way from eradicating deaths on the highways and roads of this country. The best defense against such tragic auto accidents is for motorists in the Kansas City area to drive carefully and to follow the traffic laws. When they do not do so, their victims can claim compensation for their losses.