The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that U.S. roads are safer today than they were in the 1950s. But that is more than 60 years ago. Surely laws and knowledge alone would result in better drivers and fewer traffic fatalities, right?

Comparisons are important to make on more of a year-to-year basis, which the NHTSA does. And while fewer fatal traffic accidents might have happened last year compared to in 1950, there was an increase compared to the year before. That is worth noting and addressing in order to prevent motorists and others on the roads from making the same mistakes.

In 2012, there were more traffic fatalities than in 2011. Accident reports indicate that the majority of those fatalities were tied to pedestrian and motorcycle accidents. Clearly, more needs to be done to make the roads safer for those who choose alternate forms of transportation besides standard vehicles.

Will 2013 prove to be a safer year for riders and pedestrians? It will take the next couple of months to tell the whole traffic safety story of the year. Even though we are waiting for the big picture of how safe or unsafe the year was, that big picture isn’t all too important to those who are individual victims of motorcycle accidents, for example.

Every individual case involving a motorcycle crash deserves and needs an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help place the blame where it belongs. In so many cases, it belongs to a driver who didn’t see the injured biker. Failing to see a motorcyclist isn’t an excuse; it is negligent and worthy of repercussions.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “U.S. traffic deaths up for first time since 2005, safety agency says,” Jerry Hirsch, Nov. 14, 2013