The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania currently has over 120,000 miles of roads and highways, including nearly 40,000 miles of state highways that are maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDot) and over 80,000 miles of roads that are maintained by local municipalities or other entities.
Pennsylvania State Police, as well as nearly 1,300 municipal police departments, investigate and report motor vehicle accidents on Pennsylvania’s roads and highways. The information obtained from these agencies paints a sobering picture of traffic deaths and injuries across the state. These statistics underscore the importance of an experienced personal injury law firm, such as The Law Firm of Fenters Ward.
Car Crashes In Pennsylvania
In 2018, Pennsylvania had 128,420 reportable traffic crashes, resulting in 1,190 deaths and nearly 80,000 injuries. This averages to roughly three deaths and over 200 injuries per day. While these numbers are alarming, they actually show an improvement over previous years. The fatality rate of 1.17 per 100,000 is the second lowest that Pennsylvania has seen since it started keeping records in 1935. In 2018, Pennsylvania also saw its 14th-lowest total of traffic crashes since 1950.
While the numbers are improving, there is still a strong chance that you or a loved one will have to deal with the potentially devastating effects of a car crash in Pennsylvania. Consider this, based on the state’s 2018 population of 12,807,060, 1 out of every 44 Pennsylvanians was involved in a reportable traffic crash. Worst still, 1 out of every 164 Pennsylvanians was injured in a traffic crash on the state’s roads and highways.
Most troubling of all, 1 out of every 10,762 Pennsylvanians were killed in a reportable traffic crash. For Pennsylvanians who have been devastated by the consequences of traffic crashes, lawyers at The Law Firm of Fenters Ward can help.
Drinking And Driving Statistics
Drinking and driving remains a top safety concern in Pennsylvania, though the state has seen some improvement in this area as well. In 2018, there were 9,811 alcohol-related crashes in the state, down from 10,346 in 2017. While this statistic is encouraging, there has been a troubling increase in the number of alcohol-related traffic deaths in the state: 331 in 2018, up from 293 in 2017.
Also troubling is the percentage of fatalities that involve underage drunk drivers: Nearly 30% of the driver fatalities in the 16-20 age group were drunk drivers. This number is up from 18% in 2017. Pennsylvania lawmakers are very concerned by this increase. Lawmakers are also concerned about the 21-25 age group, which was responsible for the highest percentage of alcohol-related fatalities in the state (31%, also an increase over the 2017 total).
One positive sign regarding drinking and driving in Pennsylvania is that these same percentages decreased among the 26-30 age group (down 6% from 2017).
Some other interesting statistics regarding drunk driving crashes and injuries in Pennsylvania:
- 91% of those killed in alcohol-related crashes were in the car with the drunk driver (75% of those killed were the drivers themselves).
- 73% of drunk drivers in traffic crashes were male.
- 67% of all alcohol-related crashes in Pennsylvania occurred in the evening/night time–usually on the weekends.
- 27 alcohol-related crashes occur on an average day in Pennsylvania
- 17 people are injured in alcohol-related crashes on an average day in Pennsylvania
There are many other troubling statistics related to drunk driving in Pennsylvania. This is why the state is taking steps to curb drunk driving. If you or a loved one have been affected by DUI in Pennsylvania, contact The Law Firm of Fenters Ward today. We can help you get your life back on track.
Pedestrian And Bicycling-Related Crashes
While crashes involving pedestrians and bicycles are not as common as crashes that only involve motor vehicles, they do happen routinely in Pennsylvania. As one might expect, crashes involving pedestrians often result in severe injuries: while crashes involving pedestrians only account for 3.2% of all traffic crashes in Pennsylvania, they account for 16.9% of all traffic-related fatalities. Fortunately, pedestrian safety remains a top priority for Pennsylvania lawmakers.
Bicyclists in Pennsylvania also face significant risks. There were 18 bicyclists killed and 962 injured in 2018. Expect the state to take additional steps to ensure bicyclists’ safety as cycling becomes more popular in Pennsylvania.
What lessons can we take from all this raw data? To us, these statistics underscore the risks of driving in Pennsylvania (or any state). With nearly 130,000 crashes occurring in an average year, there is a strong chance that you will be involved in a crash at some point in your life. Whether you are at fault or the victim of someone else’s negligence, you will need an experienced lawyer on your side. Fortunately, the Law Firm of Fenters Ward has experience handling traffic cases.
The data is also a testament to the dangers of drinking and driving. As the 2018 data indicates, someone dies as a result of drunk driving nearly every day in Pennsylvania. If you take just one thing away from the data listed above, it should be that there is no excuse for drinking and driving. Even if you do not kill or injure yourself or anyone else, Pennsylvania lawmakers are (as we have indicated) cracking down hard on drunk drivers in the sta