DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — A deadly bus crash on I-81 south in Dauphin County is raising some safety questions. That portion of I-81 seems to have a lot of crashes, so abc27 News wanted to find out how it stacks up to other stretches of the same road.

abc27 News reached out to PennDOT about this stretch of road. How and why these crashes keep happening is not clear, but looking at the numbers, something definitely sticks out.

“I think people see the crash numbers for that section and they go oh my gosh, this is bad,” PennDOT spokesperson Dave Thompson said.

However, Thompson said he does not think that stretch of I-81 is any more dangerous than any other road.

The bus crash happened near mile marker 74, between the Manada Hill and Linglestown Road/Paxtonia exits, so abc27 asked for crash data on I-81 between exits 70 and 80. In a five year period from 2018 to 2022, there were over 400 crashes on that stretch. About 20% resulted in injuries, and just three crashes were deadly.

“It might seem like a lot, but considering the traffic volumes, it’s a safe stretch of road I would say,” Thompson said.

Thompson said the interstate sees about 50,000 vehicles a day, and about a third are trucks. Over five years, that is over 90 million vehicles.

“The vast majority of vehicles are traveling through that area safely,” Thompson said.

However, not all areas of I-81 are equal. Another roughly 10-mile stretch from the I-83 interchange, down across the river to the Wertzville Road exit in Cumberland County saw just 40 crashes in the same five-year period.

Thompson said his advice for drivers is the same no matter where they are: Drive defensively.

“Especially when, if weather is is not good, and sight distance might be limited somewhat, slow down,” he said.

Another important thing he said is to avoid distractions, especially on the highway.

“When folks are looking at their phone or they’re speeding or passing inappropriately or not using their turning signals or any type of behavior that could create risk for yourself and other drivers,” Thompson said. “That’s why it’s extra important to be vigilant when you’re traveling on interstate especially, you know, high-speed interstate.”

Thompson told me the *majority of crashes PennDOT sees are caused by driver error…
So he said the best way to get crash numbers down…Is for drivers to pay more attention to driving.