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National agency says number of crash deaths declining

The number of traffic accident fatalities in New York and across the country dropped from 2017 to 2018, and the trend is continuing into 2019. According to statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there was a decline of 2.4% in the number of traffic deaths between 2017 and 2018. The NHTSA attributed the drop at least in part to advanced safety technologies that are being installed in new vehicles. Estimates released about the first half of 2019 indicate that traffic fatalities are 3.4% down year over year.

At the same time, the number of pedestrian fatalities increased by 3.4%, and the number of people who were killed while riding bicycles and other pedal-powered-conveyances increased by 6.3%. Part of the reason for the increase in these sorts of fatalities, according to the NHTSA, might be the presence of more sport utility vehicles on the road. Because SUVs ride higher than other vehicles, their drivers may be less likely to see pedestrians or bicyclists. The number of people killed in crashes with semi-trucks increased by just less than 1%.

The number of fatalities related to distracted driving also dropped, by 12.4%, between 2017 and 2018. Still, there were 2,841 traffic fatalities related to distracted driving in 2018, representing 7.8% of all traffic deaths. The NHTSA has said it is considering including technologies like pedestrian detection systems in its crash assessment program.

People in New York who are injured in motor vehicle accidents might be entitled to compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses or other damages. An attorney who practices personal injury law might be able to help injured parties by gathering documentary evidence, interviewing witnesses or otherwise working to develop a case for trial. In many cases, an attorney might be able to negotiate an out of court settlement with at-fault parties or insurance companies.

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