Delaware traffic fatalities rose in 2019

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Traffic deaths rose in Delaware during 2019.

Figures from the state Office of Highway Safety showed the death count rose to 132 from 117 in 2018 a gain of 12 percent from 2018. The number of fatals in 2017 was 110.

The state has worked to cut the death toll and made progress in cutting the number of teenage fatalities through licensing changes.

Figures from the highway safety office showed the number of pedestrians killed rising by six over a year earlier, with motorcycle fatalities rising by two. The state has one of the highest pedestrian death rates in the nation.

Delaware has also worked on the issue of pedestrian deaths but struggles with a reluctance to use designated crossings and the use of dark clothing at night. Alcohol is sometimes a factor in pedestrian deaths.

The state has also worked to add sidewalks and crossings, but still has dangerous arteries like Concord Pike and Kirkwood Highway in northern Delaware.

The number of fatal accident victims not using passenger restraints and fatal accidents where alcohol and drugs were factors dropped sharply

Sussex County is now rivaling New Castle County in the number of traffic deaths, despite its smaller population.

Nationwide, the number of traffic deaths has risen, with distracted driving suspected to be a major factor. Major auto insurance companies have launched advertising and public service campaigns targeting the use of mobile devices.

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