Pa traffic deaths drop to record low in 2016
HARRISBURG – PennDOT announced today that traffic deaths in Pennsylvania reached a record low in 2016 with 1,188 fatalities on Pennsylvania roadways last year, a new low since record keeping began in 1928, and 12 less than 2015.
“Our biggest priority is to keep the public safe through innovation, roadway improvements, and educational outreach,” Governor Wolf said. “As fatality numbers continue to trend downward, we still need to change driver behavior, keeping in mind that each person killed in a crash is a member of someone’s family.”
While the number of highway deaths dropped in many types of crashes, there were significant decreases noted in run-off the road, hit fixed object, and drinking driver fatalities. Fatalities in run-off the road crashes dropped from 580 in 2015 to 518. Hit fixed object fatalities also decreased from 459 in 2015 to 401 last year. Deaths attributed to drinking-driver-related crashes declined to 263, down from 306 in 2015.
Fatalities increased in some types of crashes. There were 279 fatalities that occurred at intersections, up from 251 in 2015. Also, pedestrian deaths resulting from crashes increased to 172 up from 153 in 2015.
Underscoring PennDOT’s commitment to changing driver behavior and work toward zero deaths, the 2017 Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) was released in February. The SHSP was developed to maintain and build on momentum achieved by the state’s previous strategic plans and outlines both existing and new strategies that can be applied throughout the state. The plan, along with other highway safety information, is viewable at www.penndot.gov/safety.
In addition, from 2012 to 2016, PennDOT has invested more than $376 million in Federal Highway Safety Improvement Program funds on 434 unique safety projects. During that same timeframe, another $50 million was invested in low-cost safety improvements at approximately 4,000 locations. Examples of low-cost safety countermeasures include centerline and edge-line rumble strips, and signing and pavement markings. PennDOT also invests about $20 million annually in federal grant funds for safety education and enforcement efforts statewide.
The department also unveiled a new mapping tool on its Pennsylvania Crash Information Tool (PCIT) website, www.dotcrashinfo.pa.gov, which uses reportable crash data from law enforcement to assist in reviewing this data. The new feature allows the public to query and also map fatality and crash data.
The site also includes a search function that allows the public to retrieve data based on specified criteria. Users can display data showing the number of crashes, people involved, or vehicles involved. It can be filtered by Timeframe, County/Municipality, and by various crash characteristics. Additional statistics available in the site are crash, fatality and major injury statistics as well as the department’s annual Crash Facts Books.