PA Traffic Fatalities on the Decline
July 11, 2019
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for individuals under 55 in the United States. PennDOT (or the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation) is committed to promoting safe travel across the state. In 2017, PA saw its lowest number of traffic fatalities on record for the last 90 years – altogether there were 1,137 deaths. Just one year earlier, nearly 2,000 Pennsylvania residents died and more than 82,000 others were injured in automobile accidents. Despite the positive trend indicating a decline in roadway deaths, it remains essential that PennDOT create education, engineering, and enforcement initiatives to prevent avoidable roadway incidents.
Pennsylvania Automobile Accidents: General Information, Injuries, Fatalities, and Risk Factors
There are more than 120,000 total miles of roadway in Pennsylvania; approximately one-third are state highways that PennDOT maintains and local municipalities oversee the remainder. The Pennsylvania State Police department (along with local police departments) compiles automobile accident data every year. PennDOT then uses this data to create its yearly Crash Facts & Statistics reports, which aim to educate drivers but also to improve travel safety.
Here are just a few key facts from PennDOT’s most recent Crash Facts & Statistics report (2017):
- Every 8 hours a person was fatally injured in a traffic crash;
- More than 350 crashes happened daily (which comes out to approximately 15 car crashes per hour), and:
- More than 220 people were injured in traffic accidents daily
When it comes to what type of vehicles are most frequently involved in crashes the answer is passenger vehicles, SUVs, vans, and light trucks. Passenger vehicles are involved in more crashes than any other vehicle type, but the number of accidents involving light trucks, SUVs, and vans has slowly increased in recent years.
There are many known risk factors when it comes to automobile crashes, injuries, and fatalities. Some of these risk factors include:
- Male drivers in most age groups are more likely to be involved in crashes than female drivers. In fact, male drivers between the ages of 21 and 25-years-old are involved in the greatest number of crashes than drivers of any other age group;
- 16-20-year-olds and 21-25-year-olds are involved in more crashes than any other age group, though 26-30-year-olds come in a very close third. Data indicates that younger drivers face greater driving risks than older age groups, and:
- Alcohol and drugs. Although Pennsylvania is seeing a positive trend in traffic safety and accident rates, driving under the influence is still a major issue and a deadly hazard. For example, more than one-quarter of the total traffic fatalities in 2017 were alcohol-related.
Safe Driving Tips for Drivers of All Ages
Even with the positive trend of fewer automobile accidents, injuries, and deaths happening it is still important to keep safety (and driving responsibly) in mind every time a person gets behind the wheel. Here are some useful (and lifesaving) driving safety tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Always wear a seatbelt and ensure that every of-age passenger does;
- If you plan on drinking or using drugs, designate a sober driver;
- Do not use your cell phone while driving. This includes sending texts, changing music, looking at GPS, etc. If you must make or answer a phone call or text message, pull over to a safe place and put the vehicle in park, and:
- Do not drive while drowsy and do not eat or drink while driving;
If you would like to read more on automobile crash data and access helpful resources on preventing accidents, talking to teens about driving safely, and much more, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/index.html. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact a representative at our firm directly.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Represent Victims of Automobile Accidents
If you have been in a car or truck accident and have questions about your rights, please contact our Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Galfand Berger. With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.