For decades, the number of traffic fatalities was declining throughout New Mexico and the rest of the U.S., but in 2015 and 2016, this changed. The spike in deaths that 2015 saw was the greatest since the 1960s. Still, 2017 saw a decrease, and according to a new preliminary report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2018 did as well.

NHTSA says that compared to the 37,133 fatalities reported in 2017, there were 36,750 deaths in 2018. This represents a 1% decrease; the 2017 numbers themselves made up a 2% drop from 2016. Despite the stable number of motor vehicle crash fatalities, there is another group that is becoming more vulnerable: pedestrians and cyclists.

According to NHTSA, pedestrian deaths may have gone up as much as 4%, and bicyclist deaths 10%, in 2018. According to Automotive News, pedestrian deaths made up 16% of all traffic deaths in the U.S. in 2016, compared to 12% in 2009.

The reason for this may be urbanization with more people moving to urban areas. Automotive News states that motor vehicle crash numbers are, as a result, declining in rural areas but growing more frequent in the cities. The percentage of vehicle occupants who die in crashes has decreased, but more bicyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians are dying.

Any pedestrian, bicyclist or driver who sustains a personal injury at the hands of a negligent driver may want to see a lawyer about filing a claim. In this state, anyone can file regardless of the degree of fault. However, it might be harder to negotiate for a settlement when the victim contributed to the accident. Victims may leave this up to the lawyer, and if a reasonable amount for damages cannot be agreed upon, they may litigate.