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Newly released statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show 36,560 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2018, a 2.4% decrease from the year before when 37,473 died on American roadways.

However, despite the good news overall, the report shows an alarming number of cyclists and pedestrians died as a result of car crashes. More than 6,000 pedestrians were killed, making 2018 the deadliest year since 1990.

Safety advocates concerned for cyclist and pedestrians

NHTSA statistics for so-called “vulnerable road-users” show they are being killed at an alarming rate:

  • 6,283 pedestrians were killed, a 3.4% increase from 2017
  • 857 cyclists were killed, a 6.3% increase
  • Deaths of female cyclists surged by 29.2%
  • Deaths of male cyclists rose by 3.2%

Distracted drivers, poor road conditions blamed

While NHTSA’s report shows fewer distracted drivers were involved in fatal crashes last year, the agency says they are still responsible for a disproportionate number of deaths. Safety watchdogs also attribute part of the increase in pedestrian and cyclist deaths to people buying larger vehicles, such as SUVs and pickup trucks.

Additionally, advocates say federal, state and local governments must do a better job at making improvements to roadways and intersections while adding more bike paths and increasing visibility and taking other safety measures at crosswalks.

Traffic fatalities decline in Kentucky

While detailed state information is not yet available, NHTSA’s report shows the Bluegrass State saw fewer fatal crashes in 2018, and fatalities involving alcohol also declined. However, thousands of drivers, passengers, pedestrians and other road users are hurt in crashes every year. If you have been injured, an experienced personal injury attorney here in Kentucky will aggressively work to get you the compensation you deserve.