US highway deaths fall in 2018 for second straight year

National & World News

FILE – In this July 1, 2016 file photo, drivers work their way out of Dallas during rush hour. The U.S. government’s road safety agency says traffic deaths fell by a small amount for the second straight year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration attributed the 2.4% drop partially to technology in newer vehicles that can prevent crashes. The agency says the downward trend is continuing into 2019. First-half estimates show fatalities down 3.4%. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

DETROIT (AP) – The U.S. government’s road safety agency says traffic deaths fell by a small amount for the second straight year.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration attributed the 2.4% drop partially to technology in newer vehicles that can prevent crashes. A total of 36,560 people died on the nation’s roads in 2018, the latest full-year statistics available.

The agency says the downward trend is continuing into 2019. First-half estimates show fatalities down 3.4%.

But pedestrian deaths rose 3.4%, and the number of people killed on bicycles and other pedaled vehicles went up 6.3%. People killed in large-truck crashes rose just under 1%.

The overall declines in 2017 and 2018 came after two years of large increases blamed on people driving more as the economy improved.

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