PennDOT announces 2019 highway fatalities hit a record low

Harrisburg

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – PennDOT announced that statewide highway fatalities reached a new low in 2019, dropping to 1,059, the lowest since record-keeping began in 1928 and 131 less than in 2018.

“While this is certainly good news, even one life lost is one too many,” said PennDOT Acting Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “We must continue to work with our partners to decrease traffic deaths through education and outreach. We urge all Pennsylvanians to always wear their seat belts and never drive impaired or distracted.”

PennDOT says the number of unrestrained fatalities dropped from 398 in 2018 to 330 last year, the lowest it has been in the last 20 years.

Other areas that saw significant decreases in 2019 were fatalities in aggressive driving crashes, fatal crashes involving a driver 65 years of age or older, and pedestrian fatalities.

PennDOT released the following statistics:

  • There were 129 fatalities in aggressive driving crashes in 2018 compared to 95 in 2019;
  • Fatalities in crashes involving a driver 65 or older dropped from 330 in 2018 to 281 in 2019; and
  • Pedestrian fatalities decreased from 201 in 2018 to 154 last year.

While fatalities for most types of crashes were down for 2019, some types saw fatality increases in 2019:

  • There were 174 motorcyclist fatalities last year, up from 164 in 2018;
  • Fatalities involving stop-controlled intersections increased to 92 from 67 in 2018;
  • Fatalities in vehicle failure-related crashes increased from 45 to 52.

According to national data, over 90 percent of crashes are caused by driver behavior. For this reason, PennDOT focuses on data trends to drive enforcement and education improvements and invests approximately $18 million annually in federal grant funds statewide to support these behavioral safety programs.

For more information on reportable crash data, visit PennDOT’s Pennsylvania Crash Information Tool website.

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