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NHTSA projects fewer traffic deaths but more risk for pedestrians

A preliminary report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offered slightly good news about traffic fatalities in North Carolina and nationwide. Deaths on U.S. roads in 2018 appear to have dropped by about 1% compared to the previous year. The agency, however, reported that pedestrian deaths went up by 4% in 2018. Bicyclists fared badly in the same year with a 10% increase in fatalities according to preliminary data.

Researchers speculate that increasing numbers of people living in urban areas have aggravated hazards for pedestrians and bicyclists. Urbanization has been pushing the rate of pedestrian fatalities up since 2009. The Automotive News reported that pedestrians accounted for 16% of all traffic fatalities in 2017, which represented an increase of 12% since 2009.

Recent years have proven especially deadly for all motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists. Starting in 2015, the government recorded a spike in traffic deaths after years of improvement even as the population grew. The statistics for 2016 showed another increase although 2017 oversaw a slight drop in total deaths. With the preliminary figures for 2018 indicating a modest reduction in deaths, researchers hope that the upward trend in deaths has stabilized.

Distracted driving caused by cellphone use has been widely blamed for the higher rate of car accidents and traffic fatalities. With the likelihood of serious crashes still high, people might fall victim to distracted or otherwise negligent drivers. A victim might seek legal representation when pursuing damages with a personal injury claim. An attorney may be able to prepare evidence and negotiate directly with an insurer. This service might reduce a person's vulnerability to low settlement offers or denials from insurers. An attorney may also file a lawsuit if a person needs substantial compensation for lost income and medical expenses.

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