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Understanding the NHTSA’s Preliminary 2018 Traffic Fatalities Statistics

On behalf of Randall & Stump, PLLC in Car Accidents, Personal Injury on Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Fatal auto accident scene on a highway

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released preliminary findings about traffic fatalities in 2018. As it continues to count up traffic fatality reports from around the nation, the NHTSA uses statistical methods to estimate what the final tally will be. If estimates are correct, 2018 saw a slight decrease in motor vehicle accidents involving passenger vehicles and motorcycles. However, projections show a 3% increase in truck accident fatalities, a 4% increase in pedestrian fatalities, and a 10% increase in cyclist fatalities.

At the end of the year, when it will have finished counting up all of last year’s accident reports, the NHTSA will attempt to determine what factors caused these fatality increases, and recommend what actions state regulators can take to improve safety. Although America’s roads have never been safer, fatalities and injuries are a common occurrence.

Getting compensation after an accident can be a trying process. That’s why the Charlotte car accident lawyers at Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys and here to help. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact us today at (980) 237-4579 to schedule a free consultation about your legal options.

Fatal Traffic Accidents are Down for 2018 According to NHTSA Estimates

Even though the NHTSA has not finished counting up last year’s accident reports, their analysts can use mathematical models to get an accurate estimate of the final numbers. Despite the increases in fatalities for pedestrians and cyclists, the overall picture is relatively encouraging. The NHTSA estimates that 36,750 people died on the country’s roads in 2018. This is a huge number, but it’s actually a 1% decrease from the 37,133 fatalities reported in 2017.

The NHTSA’s estimates are based on three sources: the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), FastFars, and Monthly Fatality Counts. FARS is a nationwide census of every highway crash causing the death of at least one person within 30 days of the accident. By its very nature, this system cannot provide real-time fatality reporting, so it is supplemented by FastFARS (FF), which allows for immediate fatality reporting, but with less details. Finally, the NHTSA also employs a Monthly Fatality Count (MFC) method to take into account records collected by individual states.

By carefully analyzing trends from previous years, the NHTSA is able to determine within a small margin of error the total fatality count for a year once it has collected a sufficient number of accident reports. The actual number rarely deviates from these projections, but the projections don’t tell the full story. The reason the final count is so important is that the FARS reports contain information about each accident’s circumstances, which allows the NHTSA to make effective safety recommendations for the future.

What to Do If You or a Loved One Is Involved in a Serious Crash

A car crash can turn your life upside down. In the blink of an eye, you can find yourself with debilitating injuries, overwhelming medical expenses, and financial strain because of your inability to work. To make matters worse, the insurance claims process does not always get you the compensation you need. It is always in the insurance company’s interest to give you the least amount of compensation possible. For this reason, you should almost never accept their initial settlement offer.

Better yet, you should call an experienced Charlotte personal injury lawyer to represent your interests during the process to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. At Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys, we do not stop fighting until justice is done. If an insurance company is not willing to provide you an adequate settlement, we can take your fight to court.

To learn more about how we can help you get back on your feet after an accident, call us now at (980) 237-4579, or reach out through the online form for your free consultation.