PennDOT: Traffic fatalities down in 2015

Traffic fatalities in Pennsylvania hit the second-lowest total since record-keeping began in 1928.

The 1,200 fatalities in 2015 equaled only five more than 2014’s record low, said a PennDOT press release.

“We and our safety partners continue to work on infrastructure improvements, as well as promoting the use of education, enforcement and outreach in efforts to influence driver behavior and drive down crash and fatality numbers,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said in the release. “We strive to meet the national vision of Zero Fatalities, knowing that transportation impacts Pennsylvanians daily.”

PennDOT data from police reports shows that while the number of highway deaths dropped in many crash types, significant decreases in fatal crashes involving drivers older than 65, aggressive drivers, and crashes at intersections occurred, the release said.

Deaths in crashes involving drivers 65 years of age and older declined to 279 from 300 in 2014. Fatalities in crashes at intersections decreased from 271 in 2014 to 251 in 2015, while fatalities in crashes involving aggressive drivers decreased from 134 in 2014 to 119 in 2015.

Fatalities increased in some types of crashes, including those involving single-vehicles that ran off the road and those that hit fixed objects. There were 580 fatalities in crashes involving single vehicles that ran off the road, up from 534 in 2014. Also, deaths in crashes where drivers hit fixed objects, such as trees, increased to 459 from 425 in 2014, the release said.

PennDOT has invested approximately $50 million over the last five years for low-cost safety improvements at nearly 4,800 locations. Types of low-cost safety countermeasures include rumble strips, signage, pavement markings and roadway delineators. PennDOT also invests about $20 million annually in state and federal funds for safety education and enforcement efforts statewide.

To increase public access to crash and fatality information in Pennsylvania, PennDOT last year released the Pennsylvania Crash Information Tool, which allows access to these and other types of crash data. The tool – accessible at dotcrashinfo.pa.gov – allows users to search data pulled from law-enforcement crash reports involving passengers, drivers and different vehicle types.

To learn about PennDOT’s highway safety efforts, visit www.JustDrivePA.com.

 

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