Pennsylvania DOT: Traffic fatalities at lowest levels since 1920s

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | 4/14/2015

The number of traffic fatalities in Pennsylvania in 2014 was the lowest it had been since the state started keeping records more than 85 years ago.

According to a news release issued by the state’s Department of Transportation, the 1,195 vehicle fatalities were the lowest number since 1928. The total also represented a slight decline from the 1,208 fatalities reported in 2013. The number of total vehicle crashes also fell from 124,077 in 2013 to 121,309 in 2014.

According to data released by the agency, certain types of crashes – including unbuckled, drinking-driver and hit-tree collisions – declined significantly. However, fatalities in some crashes, including those involving collisions with utility poles and sleeping or drowsy drivers, increased compared with the previous year.

PennDOT spokeswoman Ashley Schoch said the agency has invested millions of dollars over the last five years for safety improvements on state roads, as well as for safety education and enforcement efforts statewide.

“PennDOT has invested $50 million over the last five years for safety improvements at approximately 4,000 locations,” Schoch said in an email to Land Line. “Types of low-cost safety countermeasures include centerline and edge-line rumble strips. … Through these efforts and the assistance of our safety partners statewide we continue to work toward the nationwide goal of zero fatalities.”

Schoch said there were a total of 150 fatal crashes involving commercial vehicles statewide in 2014, and that those crashes resulted in 165 fatalities, of which 28 were commercial vehicle drivers. That rate remains about the same over the last five years, according to PennDOT. In 2013, 29 commercial drivers were among the 158 fatalities in crashes involving a commercial vehicle in the Keystone State. Below are the numbers of all commercial vehicle driver crash fatalities in Pennsylvania since 2010, along with the total number of fatalities from crashes involving commercial vehicles.

  • 2010 commercial drivers killed: 24 
  • Fatal crashes involving a commercial vehicle: 165      
  • 2011 commercial drivers killed: 25 
  • Fatal crashes involving a commercial vehicle: 154 
  • 2012 commercial drivers killed: 18
  • Fatal crashes involving a commercial vehicle: 167 
  • 2013 commercial drivers killed: 29
  • Fatal crashes involving a commercial vehicle: 158
  • 2014 commercial drivers killed:  28
  • Fatal crashes involving a commercial vehicle: 150

PennDOT also announced last week a new online database allowing the public access to crash data. The Pennsylvania Crash Information Tool allows users to search data pulled from law enforcement crash reports involving passengers, drivers and different types of vehicles.

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.

Copyright © OOIDA