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The Number of Pennsylvania Traffic Deaths Hits New Low

Number of Pennsylvania Traffic Deaths

Number of Pennsylvania Traffic Deaths in Decline

On Friday, April 10th, the Pittsbugh Post-Gazette published an article on a recent Pennsylvania Department of Transportation report that 1,195 people died as a result of vehicle crashes last year in Pennsylvania – the lowest number since record-keeping began in 1928. This record low total actually follows a two decade-long trend of decreasing traffic fatalities in the state. Allegheny County also showed a drop in traffic-related fatalities, with only 59 reported deaths from vehicle crashes.

Why is the Number of Pennsylvania Traffic Deaths at an All-Time Low?

The new record low for traffic fatalities stems from a multitude of facts. For starters, cars are simply being built better and are safer to drive. In the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, the spokeswoman for the Governors Highway Safety Association also pointed to new crash avoidance technology as a major factor in the decreasing number of Pennsylvania traffic deaths.

Is the Number of Pennsylvania Traffic Deaths Still Too High?

While the new low number of Pennsylvania traffic deaths is certainly encouraging, there are obvious areas for improvement that could make a significant impact and help make a big cut into the total number of traffic deaths.

  • Distracted driving is at a new high due to society’s ubiquitous cell phone use. Deaths of 16 and 17 year old drivers in Pennsylvania actually spiked from 27 in 2013 to 37 in 2014.
  • 32% of traffic-related deaths occurred while vehicle occupants were not using seatbelts. Wearing a seatbelt is a simple practice and an increase in seatbelt usage could result in a further reduction of the traffic death total.
  • DUI-related traffic deaths made up 27% of total traffic deaths in 2014. While this is a decrease from 2013, driving while intoxicated is an unacceptable practice and puts many innocent drivers at risk.

How Does the Number of Pennsylvania Traffic Deaths Affect You?

So what do you do with this information? The first and most important takeaway from this report is that it confirms the basic tenants of safe driving that have been promoted in recent years: wear your seatbelt and don’t drink and drive.

Second, certain evidence is showing that the roads are the safest they have ever been. While the number of cars on the road reached another new high in 2014, the traffic deaths continue to decline.

However, despite this positive trend in highway safety, serious traffic accidents can still happen to you. If you are hurt in a traffic accident, you should consult with an attorney with experience litigating car accident injury cases.

Joyce & Bittner are car accident and injury lawyers with over 25 years years experience. Call (412) 281-9919 for a free consultation.