Drivers Involved in Crashes
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT, 2016), there were 60,265 injuries and 1,188 fatalities due to crashes in the state of Pennsylvania last year. Crashes involved drivers of all ages, but predominately those over the age of 20 and below the age of 65.
Drinking drivers continued to be the most dangerous drivers in Pennsylvania last year. According to the Pennsylvania DUI Association’s 2015 Briefs Report, drinking and driving remains a top safety issue in the state. In fact, alcohol-related deaths represented 29% of all traffic related deaths in 2015, with drivers in the 21 to 25 age group presenting the greatest problem when it came to drinking and driving.
According to the Pennsylvania DUI Association, three out of four drinking drivers were male. While those age 21 to 30 had the highest percentage of crashes by age groups, those in the 31 to 35 age group had the highest percentage (47%) of drinking driver deaths.
While Pennsylvania continues to take an aggressive stance when it comes to drinking and driving and seeks to prevent and deter this practice, the fact remains that too many people have died because people have chosen to drink and drive. In 2015:
- 345 people died in alcohol-related crashes
- 93% of the alcohol-related occupant deaths (drivers and passengers) were in vehicles driven by drinking drivers
- 73% of the alcohol-related crashes occurred at night, typically on weekends
- On average, 29 alcohol-related traffic crashes occurred each day
- On average, one person died in an alcohol-related traffic crash every day
- On average, 19 people were injured in alcohol-related traffic crashes every day
State of Pennsylvania School Zone Crashes
In the state of Pennsylvania, there were 82,962 crash related injuries in 2016 and 1188 fatalities. That same year, 462 people were involved in crashes that took place in school zones, resulting in 371 injuries and 6 fatalities. There were 78 pedestrians involved in school zone crash incidents and six bicyclists. Crashes involved a school bus within a school zone 13.4% of the time (N=62), though there were 817 total crash incidents involving a school bus in 2016 in the state.
While the majority of the injuries were reported as minor (n=154, or 22.8%), 58 (16.8%) of the injuries were moderate, and 17 (3.7%) were major injuries. Four of those sustaining major injuries were pedestrians, and one crash resulted in a pedestrian fatality. (The remaining injuries were not categorized.)
The majority of crashes in school zones took place on Wednesdays (n=100), while the fewest took place on Sundays (n=26).
Crashes typically took place during the daylight hours, under good weather and lighting conditions.
The majority of crashes (98) took place in Philadelphia. Since this is the largest county in PA, this was not surprising; larger counties weren’t always where more crashes took place, however. For example, 3.5% of crashes in school zones occurred in Lackawanna (the 7th highest in school zone crashes), that had a population of 214,428, while other areas of similar size had only four or five crash incidents.
When taking into consideration number of vehicle miles traveled per year in the county, those with the highest rates of crashes in school zones (the top 25) are those in the chart below, with Northampton at the top of the list, followed by Philadelphia.