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Number of traffic deaths down, but still too many


According to recent statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, there were over 37,000 deaths on the roads of Texas and the other states in 2017.

To some extent, this grim number is actually hopeful news. It is 1.8 percent lower than number of fatalities in 2016. Moreover, if preliminary estimates about the number of accidents that will happen this year are correct, the downward trend will continue.

However, in another respect, one can see this turnaround as a little too little, too late. Over the last two years, 2015 and 2016, the number of traffic fatalities actually increased. In 2015, the increase was well over 8 percent, and in 2016, the increase was 6.5 percent.

Therefore, while the country is heading in the right direction in terms of keeping people alive on the roads, we are not back even to the point where we were two to three years ago.

Moreover, in some respects, the statistics were even less promising. For instance, the number of fatalities involving bicyclists and pedestrians remain the highest they have been in a two decades, about a whole generation. This is despite the fact that technology has advanced and there have been a lot of efforts to improve pedestrian safety.

Furthermore, with respect to one of the most popular vehicles, the SUV, the number of deaths involving them increased by 3 percent in 2017, which is contrary to the national trend.

On the whole, while the news is not all bad, more needs to be done to prevent fatal accidents in the Killeen and Fort Hood areas and, for that matter, in the rest of the country. For those who have already been victims of accidents, they may need to seek recovery through a personal injury or wrongful death action.