While the U.S. suffered one of the deadliest years on record for traffic deaths, the fatality rate in Pennsylvania dropped to a new low.
In 2016, reported deaths caused by traffic accidents fell to 1,188, seven less than the number of fatalities recorded in 2015. Last year also had the lowest reported traffic deaths since 1928 when auto statics were first recorded, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).
Several Areas of Fatal Auto Accidents Also Decreased
PennDOT reported that as the number of Pennsylvania traffic deaths in 2016 declined as a whole, specific types of fatal accidents decreased as well.
The agency’s collected data revealed the number of reported deaths caused by running off the road, hitting fixed objects and impaired driving all decreased within the last year.
- Run-off-the-road crashes dropped from 580 in 2015 to 518 in 2016.
- Hit-fixed-object fatalities decreased from 459 in 2015 to 401 in 2016.
- Drunk-driving related deaths decreased from 306 in 2015 to 263 in 2016.
Although there were significant improvements made in traffic safety throughout the state, PennDOT found that some areas of traffic fatalities increased during 2016.
- Intersection fatalities rose to 279 in 2016 from 251 in 2015.
- Pedestrian deaths rose to 172 in 2016 from 153 in 2015.
Pennsylvania Continues to Improve Roadway Safety
The main priority of Pennsylvania’s state government is to maintain roadway safety by implementing innovative improvements and applying educational outreach programs throughout the state, Gov. Tom Wolf said.
PennDOT recently revealed its 2017 Strategic Highway Safety Program (SHSP), which involves new initiatives that continue to build on the success of past programs to achieve the agency’s goal of improving roadway safety.
The 2017 version of SHSP will mainly focus on updating and creating new traffic safety devices as well as continuing educational campaigns that address driving behaviors and habits.
PennDOT’s invested more than $376 million in Federal Highway Safety Improvement funds on 434 safety projects between 2012 and 2016. Another $50 million was also invested in low-cost safety improvements at approximately 4,800 locations.
Improvements to safety countermeasures included installing more centerline and edge-line rumble strips to alert drivers veering off the road, as well as updating signing and pavement markings.
Traffic Accidents in the Harrisburg Area
While traffic safety in Pennsylvania has made significant improvements within the last year, there are still many roadway safety hazards that are dangerous for motorists.
To follow the trends of fatal auto accidents throughout the state, PennDOT created the Pennsylvania Crash Information Toll for motorists to map these collisions.
If you have been injured or lost someone you love in a traffic accident, the Harrisburg law firm Schmidt Kramer may be able to help.
Contact us for a free initial consultation with one of our car accident attorneys to discuss your claim and determine if you are able to pursue legal action.
Our firm only works on a contingency fee basis and never charges clients upfront costs for our services. We only require payment if we are able to recover damages for your claim.
Call (717) 888-8888 to speak with a car accident attorney in Harrisburg.