Pennsylvania is exception to improved traffic fatality trend

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released good news recently about traffic safety throughout the U.S. The good news is that fatal car accidents are in the decline according to 2010 statistics.

Overall, the number of deadly car accidents throughout the country went down by 2.9 percent compared to 2009. It’s a relatively low rate that the U.S. hasn’t seen in more than 60 years. So why can’t Pennsylvania partake in the celebration of this traffic safety trend?

According to reports, Pennsylvania is the exception to the rule with regards to the positive trend in the country. It’s one of only five states that didn’t show an improvement in the rate of fatal car accidents during 2010.

Between 2009 and 2010, last year saw the death of nearly 70 more people in traffic accidents. Still, sources point out that the rate is lower than it was between 2006 and 2008. But that’s enough about numbers.

Discussing a serious issue in terms of numbers makes it too easy to overlook the very human aspect or traffic safety. For the more than 1,3000 people who died in crashes last year in Pennsylvania, there is likely at least one person left behind who loves and misses them.

Research doesn’t identify why the traffic fatality rate increased last year, but drivers should know by now what they need to do to be responsible citizens on the roads. This holiday season, it is especially crucial to remember not to drink and drive. Everyone needs to put their cell phones down and generally pay more attention to the road and their surroundings.

If it were everyone’s New Year’s resolution to become more responsible drivers, it’s highly likely that by this time next year, Pennsylvania will be listed as part of the country where fewer lives are being taken on the roads.


Pittsburg Post-Gazette: “Highway fatalities in Pa. rose in 2010,” Jon Schmitz, Dec. 8, 2011

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