While the overall number of traffic fatalities decreased slightly in 2018, the number of pedestrian and cyclist deaths continues an alarming upward trend in the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports 36,560 people died on U.S. roadways last year, a decrease of 2.4%.
However, the report says highway fatalities involving other vulnerable road users saw a disturbing increase, as 6,283 pedestrians were killed, the most since 1990, and a 3.4% rise over 2017. Meanwhile, 857 cyclists were killed for a 6.3% increase.
Florida remains the most hazardous state for pedestrians
While NHTSA hasn’t released comprehensive state data for 2018, the Sunshine State remains the deadliest in the nation for pedestrians, according to 2017 statistics. Two separate safety studies conclude Florida has nine of the top 20 least safe areas for pedestrians. According to their national rankings, they are:
- Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach
- Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville
- North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton
- Lakeland-Winter Haven
- Cape Coral-Fort Myers
- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach
Safety advocates urge governments to make improvements
NHTSA data suggests distracted drivers are increasingly to blame for pedestrian deaths, as is the rising trend for car buyers to purchase larger vehicles, such as SUVs and pickup trucks. However, safety advocates say cities have been lacking in making improvements to roadways, traffic signals, intersections and crosswalks.
Nearly 400,000 people are injured each year in motor vehicle crashes, and many of them are permanently disabled and require long and costly medical treatments. If you are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, an experienced personal injury attorney here in Florida can help you receive the compensation you deserve.