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Traffic deaths down, bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities climb, preliminary data shows

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Washington — Bicyclist and pedestrian deaths are on the rise even as motor vehicle-related traffic fatalities are projected to have decreased, according to preliminary 2018 data released June 17 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The estimated 36,750 traffic deaths are 383 fewer than the 2017 total of 37,133 – about a 1% decrease. However, cyclist and pedestrian deaths are on pace to increase 10% and 4%, respectively. Figures for those categories aren’t yet available, an NHTSA spokesperson said in an email to Safety+Health. Fatalities in crashes involving at least one large truck are estimated to have increased 3%, while data shows a slight increase in fatal crashes involving drivers 65 and older.

More data is expected later this year, along with finalized 2017 statistics. NHTSA’s data for the 2018 estimates comes from its Fatality Analysis Reporting System, FastFARS and monthly fatality counts, as well as the Federal Highway Administration’s vehicle miles traveled estimates.

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