The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said traffic deaths fell for the second straight year – down 913 from 2017. The fatality rate fell by 3.4% to 1.13 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, the lowest rate since 2014.
Despite the decrease in overall deaths, pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities continue to rise, with deaths of those on foot climbing 3.4% to 6,283 last year. The number of people killed on roads while using bicycles and other non-motorized vehicles rose 6.3% to 857.
More pedestrians and cyclists were killed in 2018 than in any year since 1990. Deaths of pedestrians have jumped by 42% in the last decade even as the combined number of all other traffic deaths has fallen by 8%.
Auto safety experts say the growing number of drivers distracted by mobile devices is at least partly to blame. NHTSA said Tuesday it is looking for ways to reduce fatalities among pedestrians and bicyclists.