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Rates of certain fatal motor vehicle accidents are rising

Advancements in motor vehicle technology save countless lives every year. As safety standards improve, fatal crash rates also improve. Experts continue to work with the aim of preventing more and more fatal motor vehicle accidents, optimistic that one day people will no longer lose their lives on roadways.

We are not at that point just yet, but there is good news. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced a drop in fatalities due to motor vehicle accidents for 2018. Unfortunately, that is not the whole story. Though overall fatal crash rates are down, when experts look at specific categories, they actually found a rise. Here’s what you need to know to keep your Tennessee family safe.

Where did the increases happen?

The first increase was fatal truck accidents. The percentage of people killed as an occupant of a large truck went up by 0.8%. Although that doesn’t sound like much, it is the highest rate in 30 years. Furthermore, the fatal crash rate for anyone in a large truck accident, including people in other types of vehicles, went up 1.1%. This is especially concerning as 2018 was the first full year of the required use of electronic logging devices, or ELDs, in large trucks which were supposed to prevent fatalities.

Another category with an increase was the rate of fatalities for people not occupying a vehicle, specifically pedestrians and cyclists. The rate of pedestrians killed in accidents with motor vehicles rose 3.4%. For cyclists, the rate increased by 6.3%. Both of those percentages are the highest increase in each category in nearly 30 years.

The news isn’t all bad

In addition to the drop in overall fatalities, some of the study results showed positive trends. The rate of fatal crashes involving an impaired driver dropped 3.6%. Also, the rates for fatal crashes connected to distracted driving went down by 12.4% and fatal drowsy driving crashes fell by 4.3%. Though the study didn’t point to any specific causes for these drops, public awareness campaigns and new legislation could be a factor.

Furthermore, researchers discovered that the reduction in fatal crashes was not due simply to people driving less miles. The mileage that people drove actually went up, while fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles fell. Though this study looked at 2018, the numbers from the first half of 2019 indicate that these positive trends may continue.

Where victims can get help

Despite these positive numbers, fatal motor vehicle accidents still happen. If you lost someone you love to a car crash because of someone else’s negligence, there are ways you may be able to hold that person, or anyone else deemed responsible, accountable. A skilled attorney can explain the options you have available to seek justice.