Pennsylvania residents might be interested to know that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, released its latest traffic crash data on Oct. 22. The report contained both encouraging and discouraging news.

According to the NHTSA data, approximately 36,560 people lost their lives in U.S. traffic accidents in 2018, which is around 2.4% less than the total reported in 2017. In addition, 2017’s total was nearly 1% less than 2016’s total, and preliminary numbers suggest that 2019’s total will be lower than 2018’s total. That reverses an upward trend in traffic deaths that occurred in 2015 and 2016, which is a positive development.

However, the data also contained some concerning information. For instance, pedestrian fatalities went up in 2018, continuing an upward climb that began around 10 years ago. There were more pedestrian and cyclist deaths last year than at any point since 1990. According to the NHTSA, pedestrian and cyclist deaths accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities in 2009. However, in 2018, they accounted for 20%. One of the reasons for this increase could be that urban populations increased by 13% between 2008 and 2017, which means that more cars and pedestrians are now on the road. This theory is backed up by the fact that pedestrian deaths skyrocketed 69% in urban areas over that period of time. In order to reverse this trend, automakers are beginning to offer pedestrian-sensing systems on new models.

Individuals injured in motor vehicle accidents might need to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to recover compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and other damages. Victims could learn more about their legal rights by speaking to an attorney familiar with car crash claims.