Georgia residents who frequently find themselves driving in urban areas or alongside large trucks should learn about what the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has discovered about 2017 car crash trends. It turns out that there was a decrease in every type of fatal accident except large truck crashes and wrecks in urban areas.

The total number of traffic fatalities went down nearly 2 percent with pedestrian deaths, in particular, decreasing for the first time in five years. Fatal crashes involving vans, light pickup trucks and bicycles saw a significant decrease of 5.8, 4.5 and 8.1 percent respectively. Speeding-related deaths went down by 5.6 percent. Preliminary estimates show that the first six months of 2018 continue this downward trend.

However, the number of fatalities in large straight truck wrecks saw an 18.7 percent jump while deaths in SUV and tractor-trailer crashes increased by 5.6 percent. The NHTSA also notes that urban area deaths among car occupants, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bicyclists have risen by 17.4 percent.

It appears that greater traffic density may be partly to blame for the trend whereas seatbelt neglect may be behind the fact that 16 percent more large truck occupants died in crashes. The report also notes that more and more crash victims are being found with prescription medications, opioids and cannabis in their systems.

Negligence is a constant factor in car accidents. Those who are injured through another person’s negligence may be able to file a third-party insurance claim, but they will want a lawyer by their side to give guidance and advice. An attorney could hire third parties to gather proof against the defendant, including physical evidence at the crash scene, phone records and anything else that’s applicable. A lawyer could then negotiate for a fair settlement that covers vehicle damage, medical bills and other losses.