The number of people killed on U.S. roadways declined in 2018 as 36,560 fatalities resulted from motor vehicle traffic crashes, according to newly released statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

While the number of fatalities fell by 913 nationally, Connecticut saw a nearly 5% increase in traffic deaths last year with 294, an increase of 13. However, the state did see some good news as the number of alcohol-related crashes declined by 3.4%.

Report shows a disturbing rise in pedestrian and cyclist deaths

While NHTSA’s 2018 statistics were encouraging overall, the news was alarming for vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians:

  • 6,283 pedestrians were killed, an increase of 3.4% over 2017 and the highest number since 1990
  • 857 cyclists died in 2018, an increase of 6.3%
  • Deaths of female cyclists rose an astounding 29.2%
  • Deaths of male cyclists increased by 3.2%

Safety experts say distracted drivers, inadequate laws and conditions to blame

NHTSA says while fatalities resulting from distracted-driving incidents declined in 2018, distracted drivers remain a major concern. Another significant factor is Americans continuing to buy larger vehicles, such as SUVs and pickup trucks, which cause more damage in a crash.

Additionally, safety advocates point to federal, state and local governments failing to adequately protect pedestrians and cyclists with more designated bike paths and improved crosswalks. They also point to roadways and intersections in need of improvements.

Thousands are injured each year on U.S. roads

In addition to the more than 36,000 fatalities in 2018, nearly 400,000 injuries result each year, on average, as a result of motor vehicle crashes. Many receive permanent or long-lasting injuries taking a significant personal and financial toll. If you are injured in a car crash, an experienced personal injury attorney here in Connecticut will work to get you the compensation you deserve.