The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates on traffic deaths in 2018 contains some promising news and some bad news. The NHTSA projects a small drop in deaths from car accidents and other vehicle crashes, even as the number of miles driven rose slightly. But, over 100 Americans still die each day in vehicle accidents.
Pedestrians have practically no protection against vehicles. This may be illustrated in a recent report issued by the Governors Highway Safety Administration, which found that the number of pedestrian deaths from car accidents and other vehicle crashes in this country last year was the highest number recorded in 30 years. It is also projected that Pennsylvania suffered a record increase in these deaths in 2018.
The risks of drunk driving are well known. Driving while impaired by medications, even if prescribed, is also illegal in Pennsylvania and increases the risks of car accidents. Almost 20 percent of older drivers are using medications that increase the risk of harm or have limited therapeutic benefit, according to recent research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
Distracted driving has become a leading cause of car accidents in recent years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that distracted driving caused 3,450 deaths in 2016 and 391,000 injuries in 2015. As the number of car accidents has increased, the number of lawsuits citing distracted driving as the cause has also increased.
A late night accident turned deadly when a man drove his car off the road, through a yard and into the home of an 86-year-old woman. Investigators believe that the driver of a car, a 21-year-old Pennsylvania man, had been drinking and possibly using drugs when he got behind the wheel of his car. They also believe that the man was traveling in excess of 80 miles per hour when his car crashed into the victim's home and entered the bedroom where she was sleeping.