County Traffic Deaths Increase Slightly

Traffic fatalities in Pennsylvania totaled 1,200 in 2015 – the second-lowest since record-keeping began in 1928 and five more than the record low in 2014 – but increased slightly in Armstrong County.

In Armstrong County, 517 crashes were reported by PennDOT – with a dozen fatalities recorded.

In 2014, there were 525 crashes reported, with 10 fatalities.

“We and our safety partners continue to work on infrastructure improvements, as well as promoting the use of education, enforcement and outreach in efforts to influence driver behavior and drive down crash and fatality numbers,” said Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Secretary Leslie S. Richards.

“We strive to meet the national vision of Zero Fatalities knowing that transportation impacts Pennsylvanians daily. We urge the motoring public to be aware of their driving behavior by observing traffic laws, paying attention and using caution.”

Last month, Pennsylvania State Police from the Kittanning barracks responded to more than 800 total incidents, but 74 crashes – including one fatality.

PennDOT data from police reports shows that while the number of highway deaths dropped in many crash types, there were significant decreases in fatalities in crashes involving drivers older than 65, aggressive drivers and crashes at intersections. Deaths in crashes involving drivers 65 years of age and older declined to 279 from 300 in 2014. Fatalities in crashes at intersections decreased from 271 in 2014 to 251 in 2015, while fatalities in crashes involving aggressive drivers decreased from 134 in 2014 to 119 in 2015.

Fatalities increased in some types of crashes, including those involving single-vehicle run-off-the-road crashes and hit-fixed-object crashes. There were 580 fatalities in crashes involving single vehicles that ran off the road,
up from 534 in 2014. Also, deaths in crashes where drivers hit fixed objects, such as trees, increased to 459 from 425 in 2014.

PennDOT has invested approximately $50 million over the last five years for low cost safety improvements at nearly 4,800 locations. Types of low-cost safety countermeasures include rumble strips, signage, pavement markings and roadway delineators.

PennDOT also invests about $20 million annually in state and federal funds for safety education and enforcement efforts statewide.