Pedestrian, Bicyclist Deaths Rose In 2018, But Total Traffic Deaths Fell 1%, NHTSA Projects in a Preliminary Report

A small decline in U.S. traffic fatalities in 2018 was marred by significant increases in pedestrian and cyclist deaths, according to a preliminary report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The agency said all types of traffic deaths in 2018 are projected to total 36,750, or 1% fewer than in 2017, but its data indicates pedestrian deaths rose by an estimated 4% and bicycling deaths surged by 10%. Pedestrian deaths increased from 12% of all traffic deaths in 2009 to 16% in 2017.

The overall fatality estimate would be 1.14 deaths per 100 million miles driven, down from 1.16 in 2017 and the lowest rate since 2014. The longer-term trend is positive. Traffic deaths in the U.S. peaked in 2007 at 41,259 people died, or 1.36 per 100 million miles driven.