The number of traffic deaths on Pennsylvania roads fell to an all-time low last year, state Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch announced today.
The total of 1,208 fatalities was down from 1,310 the previous year and was the lowest number since record-keeping began in 1928.
“Regardless of the record-low number of highway deaths recorded this year, we must never forget that these aren’t just random statistics, but rather they were somebody’s loved ones,” Mr. Schoch said in a release announcing the statistics.
“Though Pennsylvania has made significant progress in reducing highway crashes and deaths, our efforts to ensure that all travelers reach their destinations safely will remain paramount. However, our efforts cannot reach their potential if drivers refuse to do their part by observing traffic laws and always using common sense on our roads.”
The state recorded declines in the number of fatalities among those not wearing seat belts (425, down from 503 the previous year); deaths caused by speeding (193, down from 262); and deaths in single-vehicle crashes (566, down from 648).
DUI-related fatalities dropped to 342, down 35 from the prior year and the lowest total since 1977, when the state started keeping records of drunken-driving deaths.
Among the categories that saw increases were fatalities caused by distracted driving (64, up from 57); head-on collisions or sideswipes (178, up from 148); and deaths involving drivers age 75 or older (142, up from 126).
Jon Schmitz: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1868. Visit the PG's transportation blog, The Roundabout, at www.post-gazette.com/Roundabout. Twitter: @pgtraffic. First Published April 8, 2014 2:14 PM