The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released its comprehensive annual report on fatal motor vehicle accidents. For Colorado and many other states, the report has good news and bad news.
The good news is that the number of fatalities fell in 2018. This was the second year in a row to show a decline in the number of people killed in motor vehicle accidents. At the same time, the number of miles Americans traveled on the road increased. This means that the decline in fatalities is not due to something simple, such as fewer cars on the road. Instead, researchers believe one of the biggest factors driving the change is the improved safety features of cars on the road.
Now for the bad news. The number of people killed in America’s motor vehicle accidents last year was disturbingly high. There were 36,500 traffic fatalities in 2018. That means tens of thousands of families who lost loved ones, and had to cope with all the emotional and financial fallout that follows the sudden death of a family member. It also doesn’t account for the hundreds of thousands of people who were badly injured in car accidents and now must cope with the symptoms of their injuries, and the expenses involved, for the rest of their lives.
Another unpleasant fact to consider is that while the number of people killed in motor vehicle accidents overall declined, the number of pedestrian and bicyclists killed increased. For pedestrians, the number went up 3.4%. For cyclists, the number went up more than 6%.
Personal injury lawsuits are important ways to help the injured and their families to cope with the long aftermath of terrible accidents caused by negligent drivers. They can also help further traffic safety by discouraging drivers from acting carelessly.