Rate of Traffic Deaths Still Climbing, According to Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation

April 21, 2021

Traffic accident deaths on the rise in Pittsburgh, PA

In the early weeks of the pandemic, drivers from around the country traded their morning commutes in for computer desks not far from the comfort of their bedroom. While one would assume that the rate of traffic fatalities would go down with fewer drivers on the road, the opposite was true. Last year, our firm reported an increase in national traffic fatalities caused by reckless drivers, despite the decreased number of miles driven. Unfortunately, a year into the Coronavirus pandemic, the national death rate for auto accidents is still climbing. Will the end ever be in sight? 

Statistics From the Department of Transportation

On Tuesday, March 13, 2021, Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation reported a 6% increase in traffic deaths in 2020; this was in spite of the 20% decrease in overall road traffic that was caused by the closure of many businesses. Data shows that the number of traffic fatalities increased from 1,059 in 2019 to 1,129 in 2020. 

Read more: New Report Shows Uptick in Motor Vehicle Deaths Caused By Wrong-Way Accidents

Statement from PennDOT

In response to these unprecedented numbers, PennDOT Secretary, Yassmin Gramian couldn’t ascertain a specific reason for the spike in traffic deaths. She is quoted as, “We cannot definitively say why fatalities increased during the COVID-19 pandemic even though it certainly had an impact on traffic volumes statewide. Over the long term, traffic fatalities are still trending down, but we must continue to work together to make our roads safer for all drivers.” 

Gramian’s statement about a reduction in certain motor vehicle accidents is true, especially considering that Pennsylvania saw fewer fatal accidents in drivers aged 65 and older, dropping from 281 in 2019 to 243 in 2020. Furthermore, fatalities caused by distracted drivers dropped from 62 in 2019 to 47 in 2020, with head-on-collisions dropping from 158 in 2019 to 128 in 2020. 

Despite this downward trend, Pennsylvania drivers aren’t out of the woods. Like in the early months of the pandemic, national officials have blamed reckless drivers for the continual uptick in motor vehicle accidents and fatalities. With fewer cars on the road, many drivers continue to look at it as an opportunity to push the boundaries of the speed limit, which often has fatal consequences when they come in contact with other drivers and/or pedestrians. Furthermore, national officials have reported an uptick in other reckless driving behaviors such as not wearing a seatbelt or driving drunk. As Pennsylvania and other states begin to gradually reopen sporting events, concerts and other outdoor activities for the summer, the number of reckless drivers will probably only increase.

If you or someone in your family was injured as a result of a reckless driver, don’t delay contacting our firm for a consultation. We have decades of experience handling a wide range of car accident claims. We are here for you to get you the money you and your loved ones deserve. 

Contact A Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer To Discuss Your Motor Vehicle Accident Case In Pennsylvania

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a motor vehicle accident in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Goodrich & Geist, P.C. represent clients injured because of auto accidents in Pittsburgh and the surrounding Western PA counties. Call (412) 564-4770 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 3634 California Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15212.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.