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U.S. Traffic Fatalities: Minor Decrease but Still Alarmingly High

Closeup of crashed car window in car accident.

Despite progress, there are still too many people dying in car accidents.

According to the latest projections from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there was a very slight decrease in traffic fatalities in the U.S. in the first nine months of 2022. The NHTSA estimated that 31,785 people died in traffic crashes during this period, which is a 0.2% decrease compared to the same period in 2021. However, despite the decrease, the overall number of traffic fatalities from car accidents remains alarmingly high.

The NHTSA also noted that there had been a 1.6% increase in vehicle miles traveled, which resulted in a slight decrease in the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. However, the rising trend of fatalities among cyclists and pedestrians continues, highlighting the need for increased safety measures for non-motorists.

"Fatalities have not increased for two quarters now, but we have far more work to do to save lives and address the crisis on our nation's roadways," said NHTSA Acting Administrator Ann Carlson. "That means investing in safety, implementing strategies that work, and embracing the safe system approach outlined in the Department's National Roadway Safety Strategy. We urge everyone to do their part by driving safely and watching out for others on the road, especially vulnerable road users like pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists."

Breaking down the numbers

The NHTSA estimated that fatalities increased in 25 states, stayed unchanged in one state, and decreased in 24 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The new report, "Early Estimates of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities and Fatality Rate by Sub-Categories Through June 2022," provides a comprehensive overview of the changes in different sub-categories of traffic fatalities.

The report shows that fatalities decreased in certain sub-categories, including children younger than 16, urban collector and local roads, vehicle rollover crashes, people ages 16 to 24, crashes involving passengers ejected from a vehicle, and unbelted people in passenger vehicles. However, there was an increase in fatalities in other sub-categories, including rural interstates, crashes involving at least one large truck, cyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians.

In Texas, the NHTSA reports there were 3,349 fatalities in the first nine months of 2022. That represents a 0.4% increase compared to the same period in 2021 when there were 3,335 fatalities. However, despite the increase in overall fatalities, the state's fatality rate actually dropped from 1.57 in the first nine months of 2021 to 1.52 in the first nine months of 2022 due to more vehicle miles traveled.

Negligence often plays a role in serious and fatal crashes

Negligent driving is a significant contributor to car accidents and can have a devastating impact on individuals, families, and communities. It is crucial to avoid careless driving habits, including:

Keep in mind that negligent driving can result in crashes that have severe consequences. Safe driving habits include following traffic laws and signals, obeying the speed limit, maintaining a safe following distance, being aware of surroundings, and avoiding distractions such as texting while driving.

Contact a San Antonio car accident lawyer.

If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident that was not your fault, experienced legal representation can make a meaningful difference in the outcome of your case. Unfortunately, insurance companies often take advantage of crash victims by offering lowball settlements, blaming the victim for the accident, and using delays and denials to limit the amount of compensation paid out. These tactics are designed to protect the insurance company's profits—even if that means leaving victims without the financial support they need to recover from their injuries.

At the Herrera Law Firm, our attorneys understand the games insurance companies play, and we don't stand for them. With decades of experience and a proven track record of winning even the most complex cases, our law firm is dedicated to fighting for the compensation our clients deserve and helping them move forward with their lives.

Located in downtown San Antonio, we offer free consultations to anyone who has been injured in an accident. To learn more about how we can help you with your potential legal case, contact us today.

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