The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released estimates indicating that the number of bicyclist deaths increased by 10% in 2018. Cyclist and pedestrian deaths are on the rise in New York and across the country, with each of those statistics likely to hit its highest total in decades. Meanwhile, cars and trucks are getting safer thanks to new technologies.
When the statistics are finalized, the number of cyclist deaths in 2018 is likely to be the highest it has been since 1988. The number of pedestrian fatalities rose by 4% and is likely to be the highest it has been since 1990. The number of traffic fatalities overall dropped by 1%. Several automakers have introduced bicycle and pedestrian detection systems tied to their automatic braking technologies. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has said it will require car makers beginning in 2020 to include pedestrian detection systems as standard features in order to be considered for the ranking of Top Safety Pick Plus.
The IIHS has released estimates saying that automatic braking systems are likely to prevent 12,000 injuries and 28,000 car accidents by 2025. The increase in pedestrian and cyclist fatalities may be tied to distracted driving and the growing number of sport utility vehicles on the road. SUVs can be more dangerous to pedestrians because they smash through them, rather than pushing them up onto the windshield or hood of the car.
In cases where a pedestrian or a cyclist is killed in a motor vehicle crash, the decedent’s survivors might have ground for a wrongful death lawsuit if it can be determined that the driver was at fault. They might want to meet with an attorney to learn more about their rights.