If you live anywhere in the United States, there’s good news and bad news about roadway safety.

Figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) say that the fatality rate per 100 million miles traveled dropped 3.4% from 2017 to 2018. The rate of fatalities is now lower than it has been since 2014. Meanwhile, the number of pedestrians killed increased by the exact same percentage — and more pedestrians died in 2018 than any year since 1990.

Why is this happening? Experts say it’s a complicated problem with several different causes, including:

  • An increased number of pedestrians and cyclists due to environmental concerns, health concerns and the need to avoid the expense of a vehicle
  • The increased use of smartphones by pedestrians, who are distracted while walking by the internet or their music
  • A lack of safe walking space, crosswalks, bike lanes and sidewalks in urban areas, forcing walkers and bikers to share space with cars and trucks
  • Distracted driving by drivers who are tuned into their cellular phones, distracted by kids or eating while behind the wheel and not paying enough attention to the road
  • The popularity of larger vehicles, especially sports utility vehicles, which can make it harder for drivers to see pedestrians and do more damage in an accident
  • An over-reliance on safety technology in modern vehicles that can sometimes be misleading or make drivers forget to be as diligent as they should

If a loved one was killed or you’ve been injured in a serious accident while walking or biking, your losses can be considerable. An experienced advocate can help you understand your right to compensation and guide you through the process of making a claim.