While Alabama saw an increase in motor vehicle fatalities in 2018, Limestone County reported a decrease for the second year in a row, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Twenty-one people died on Limestone County roads in 2018, compared to 23 in 2017. This figure accounted for 2.4% of all Alabama motor vehicle fatalities in 2018, which increased from 948 to 953.
However, the NHTSA report revealed Limestone County's 21 fatalities included more speeding vehicles, unrestrained motorists and rollover accidents. From January to December 2018, there were six fatal accidents in which a vehicle was speeding, 10 in which the person who died was not wearing a seat belt or other restraint and 10 in which the vehicle rolled over.
Statewide, the report showed a 0.9% decrease in observed seat belt use in fatal accidents from 2017 to 2018, and fatal accidents involving speeding vehicles increased from 257 to 262.
When it came to driving under the influence of alcohol, Alabama reported a 7.2% decrease in motor vehicle fatalities involving one or more drivers with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher. Limestone County, however, kept the status quo with six alcohol-related driving fatalities in 2017 and 2018.
This left Limestone County tied with Lawrence, Walker and Lee counties for ninth-highest numbers in the state.
NHTSA found pedestrian fatalities increased from 2017 to 2018, with 3% more male pedestrians and 4.8% more female pedestrians dying. Nighttime fatalities increased 4.6%.
However, Alabama reported a 10.1% decrease in pedestrian fatalities, with Limestone County reporting no change. The county is on track to report the same this year, if not an increase, as at least two pedestrian deaths have been recorded so far in 2019.
According to a statistical projection of traffic fatalities, the first half of 2019 has continued a nationwide decreasing trend. Data related to the first half of 2018 showed a 1.6% decrease compared to the first half of 2017.
The first half of 2019, if the projection is accurate, shows a 3.4% decrease compared to the first half of 2018. NHTSA estimated nearly 600 fewer fatalities occurred in the United States from January to June of this year.