(WHTM) – In 2022 statewide traffic deaths decreased to 1,179 from 1,230 in 2021, and reportable crashes are down as well, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today.

“Pennsylvania is committed to moving toward zero deaths,” said Acting PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll. “Our biggest priority continues to be safe travel across all transportation modes, and we continue to work with our partners to decrease fatalities through education and enforcement.”

PennDOT invests around $23.5 million annually in federal grant funds statewide to support its focus on data trends to drive enforcement and education improvements.

To reduce fatalities and severe injuries PennDOT has focused on infrastructure improvements. Around $482 million in Federal Highway Safety Improvement Program funds have been invested from 2017 to 2022 in 337 safety projects.

From 2017 to 2022, $50 million of state funds were invested in over a thousand locations with low-cost safety improvements. Low-cost safety improvements include centerline and edge-line rumble strips and high-friction surface treatments.

“It certainly is good news that our fatalities are decreasing, but they are still too high,” said Carroll. “One life lost is one too many, especially if the death could have been prevented. Safety is everyone’s responsibility. We owe it to each other to slow down and pay attention when we’re driving because these unsafe behaviors put everyone’s life at risk. And buckle up! Your seat belt is your best defense against reckless drivers.”

According to PennDOT, during the pandemic the number of traffic crashes and fatalities nationwide was high and these numbers indicate that Pennsylvania is rebounding:

  • Fatalities in crashes involving speeding (second lowest in more than 20 years) – 169 fatalities, down from 201 in 2021
  • Fatalities in hit fixed object crashes (second lowest in more than 20 years) – 361 fatalities, down from 397 in 2021
  • Unrestrained fatalities (third lowest in more than 20 years) – 354 fatalities, down from 378 in 2021
  • Fatalities in crashes involving a 16–17-year-old driver (fourth lowest in 20 years) – 28 fatalities, down from 45 in 2021
  • Bicyclist fatalities (second lowest in 10 years) – 15 fatalities, down from 24 in 2021
  • Fatalities in local road crashes (second lowest in five years) – 196 fatalities, down from 214 in 2021

Although the number of highway deaths is lower from last year there is an increase in several crash types:

  • Fatalities in crashes involving distracted driving – 80 fatalities, up from 60 in 2021
  • Fatalities in head-on crashes – 181 fatalities, up from 151 in 2021
  • Fatalities in crashes at signalized intersections – 133 fatalities, up from 122 in 2021
  • Fatalities in crashes involving 65–74-year-old drivers – 169 fatalities, up from 163 in 2021

For more information about reportable crash date visit click here.

Visit the PennDOT website for more information about the department’s highway safety initiative.