PennDOT: Traffic deaths dip; public can track

Traffic deaths in Pennsylvania in 2014 reached an all-time low, continuing a favorable trend as safety advocates work towards the nationwide goal of zero fatalities, acting PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said in a press release.

PennDOT also announced that the public can now search for finalized crash and traffic fatality data using its new Pennsylvania Crash Information Tool, which is accessible at The new tool reflects PennDOT’s commitment to meeting Gov. Tom Wolf’s agenda of “Government that Works,” the release said.

“PennDOT continuously strives to drive down crash and fatality numbers, and we ultimately want to reach zero deaths on our roads,” Richards said.

The 2014 number of fatalities totaled 1,195, the lowest since record-keeping began in 1928, the release said.

PennDOT data shows that while the number of highway deaths dropped in many types of crashes, significant decreases occurred in unbuckled, drinking-driver-related and hit-tree crashes last year when compared to 2013. Unbuckled fatalities dropped from 425 to 383. Deaths in drinking-driver related crashes declined to from 342 to 294. Fatalities in hit-tree crashes decreased from 254 to 221.

Fatalities increased in some types of crashes, including those involving utility poles and drowsy or sleeping drivers. There were 113 fatalities in crashes where drivers hit utility poles, up from 103 in 2013. Also, deaths in drowsy or asleep crashes increased to 23 from 10 in 2013.

PennDOT has invested $50 million over the last five years for safety improvements at approximately 4,000 locations. Types of low-cost safety countermeasures include centerline and edge-line rumble strips.

Fatalities in crashes involving drivers ages 65 and older also increased, from 277 in 2013 to 300 in 2014.To help address safe driving in this age group, PennDOT offers information on approved Mature Driver Improvement courses available statewide, a brochure on talking with mature drivers and other safety tips at its highway safety information website,

With its release to the public, the Pennsylvania Crash Information Tool allows users to search data pulled from law enforcement crash reports involving passengers, drivers and different vehicle types. The Custom Search Tool can display data showing the number of crashes, people involved, or vehicles involved.

It can be filtered by timeframe, county or municipality, and by various crash characteristics. Additional statistics available in the site are crash, fatality and major injury statistics as well as access to annual crash facts publications.

For example, the data shows that 33 people lost their lives in Chester County crashes in 2014; in Delaware County, the number of fatalities was 26.





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