Car accidents and other traffic fatalities claim the lives of many individuals nationwide. Although any fatality is one too many, it is reassuring to see the statistics of vehicular deaths in certain states like Pennsylvania be on the decline.
Since 1928, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has published annual Crash Facts & Statistics.
Annual crash statistics
In 2018, Pennsylvania recorded the third-lowest number of traffic fatalities at 1,190 deaths. Rates of fatal crashes were lower than that in 2019 at 1,059 deaths and, in 2020, increased slightly to 1,129 fatalities. During 2021, the state saw a nine percent increase in traffic fatalities from the previous year to 1,230 deaths.
Official crash data is not available for 2022 yet, so PennDOT is unsure if a downward trend will continue or if fatal crashes will jump back up after people have started returning to in-person work post-pandemic.
Increasing safe driving habits
Motorists can incorporate safe driving habits into their commutes. Planning trips by checking the weather forecast, routes and leaving plenty of time to get to the destination can decrease the risk of car accidents. Drivers should avoid getting behind the wheel impaired and if they plan to partake in alcohol or other substances, select a reliable designated driver ahead of time. Additionally, getting vehicles serviced before the seasons change ensures everything is in working order.
Overall, PennDOT initiatives to increase behavioral programs, education, infrastructure improvements and enforcement of Pennsylvania traffic and roadways aim to decrease traffic fatalities in the state.