Pennsylvania Road Fatalities Hit All-Time Low In 2019

The attorneys at Powell Law carry on the work of a law firm that spans generations and has represented thousands of Pennsylvanians over a period of 115 years. As we settle into the second half of 2020, there is some good news for Pennsylvanians as data was recently released showing that statewide highway fatalities reached a new record low in 2019.

“While this is certainly good news, even one life lost is one too many. We must continue to work with our partners to decrease traffic deaths through education and outreach. We urge all Pennsylvanians to always wear their seat belts and never drive impaired or distracted,” said PennDOT Acting Secretary Yassmin Gramian.

The number of fatalities dropped to 1,059, the lowest since Pennsylvania began keeping records in 1928. This number was 131 less than the 2018 total of 1,190. Notably, the number of unrestrained fatalities dropped from 398 in 2018 to 330 last year, the lowest number in the last 20 years. Other areas that saw significant decreases in 2019 were fatalities in aggressive driving accidents, fatal accidents involving a driver 65 years of age or older, and pedestrian fatalities, as follows:

  • There were 129 fatalities in aggressive driving crashes in 2018 but only 95 in 2019;
  • There were 330 fatalities in crashes involving a driver 65 or older in 2018 but only 281 in 2019; and
  • There were 201 pedestrian fatalities in 2018 but only 154 in 2019.

While fatalities for most types of accidents were down for 2019, some types saw fatality increases in 2019:

  • There were 174 motorcyclist fatalities in 2019, but only 164 in 2018;
  • There were 92 fatalities involving stop-controlled intersections, but only 67 in 2018;
  • There were 52 fatalities in vehicle failure-related crashes in 2019, but only 45 in 2018.

Aside from these year-to-year declines and increases, longer-term trends also continue to show decreases. For example, compared to 2015, there were 141 fewer total traffic deaths, 83 fewer unrestrained deaths, and 42 fewer deaths in crashes involving impaired drivers. Despite the year-to-year increases mentioned above from 2018 to 2019, long-term trends for all three categories continue to decrease.

According to national data, over 90 percent of accidents are caused by driver behavior. PennDOT invests approximately $18 million annually in federal grant funds statewide to support behavioral safety programs. In addition to behavioral safety, PennDOT focuses on infrastructure improvements to roadways to further reduce fatalities and serious injuries. More than $403 million in Federal Highway Safety Improvement Program funds were invested in 464 unique safety projects from 2015 to 2019.

Since 1956, our practice has evolved litigating personal injury claims and cases and building a body of knowledge and expertise that unquestionably provides our clients with an incomparable advantage. Powell Law has an established 115-year-old reputation throughout northeastern Pennsylvania. Contact Powell Law at call (570) 961-0777. The consultation is FREE.

Pennsylvania Road Fatalities Hits All-Time Low In 2019

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