Though more people are registered to drive in Oregon and across the United States than ever before, driver and passenger fatalities decreased slightly in 2018. Unfortunately, pedestrian and cyclist deaths due to motor vehicle accidents increased to their highest rate since 1990.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that though more than 268 million vehicles were registered in 2017, driver and passenger fatalities were down to 1.1 per 100 million miles. In 1975, this number was 3.4. Experts believe that advances in vehicle safety features, such as airbags, automatic braking systems, active rollover protection and lane departure warnings, helped reduce this number.
Pedestrians and cyclists on the roadway didn’t fare as well. According to the same data from the NHTSA, 6,283 pedestrians and 857 cyclists died due to car accidents in 2018. These numbers are up by 3% and 6% respectively. The NHTSA is considering a revision to its crash-test standards due to the data. This would make the tests similar to those that are currently used in Europe in the hope of decreasing road fatalities.
Drivers have the obligation to pay close attention to pedestrians, cyclists and other motor vehicles while on the road. Distractions, such as cellphones and other technology, often account for many accidents that kill pedestrians and cyclists. Those who are involved in a motor vehicle accident often face costly medical bills, pain and suffering and lost wages due to being out of work. A lawyer may help injured victims or the family of those killed in a car accident by filing a civil suit. If it can be proven that the driver behaved negligently, medical and compensatory damages may be awarded to the injured parties. In this case, a pedestrian who was hit by a driver who was texting may receive compensation for his or her loss due to negligence.
Source: Car and Driver, “ Driver, Passenger Deaths Down in 2018, but Car vs. Pedestrian Is Up,” Clifford Atiyeh, Oct. 22, 2019