HARRISBURG, Pa (WHTM) — PennDOT has released its statewide traffic fatality data for 2021. According to the data, traffic deaths increased from 1,129 in 2020 to 1,230 in 2021.
Statewide roadway deaths were up 9% in 2021, and this increase is in line with a released report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration which projected a national increase of 12% in the first nine months of 2021.
“Safety on our roadways is a shared responsibility,” PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said. “Whether you are a driver, passenger, pedestrian, or bicyclist, we can all do our part to prevent crashes and fatalities. Buckle up every time you are in a vehicle. Always cross the road at an intersection or crosswalk. Always wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle or bicycle. Never drive, ride, or walk impaired or distracted. Let’s work together to reduce traffic deaths because even one fatality is one too many.”
Crashes involving lane departures were up from 551 in 2020, to 596 in 2021. This accounted for nearly half of highway fatalities across Pennsylvania, Strategies to combat these crashes are aimed to keep vehicles in their lanes of travel. Rumble strips on road shoulders and centerlines are one way to improve the ability of drivers to stay in their lane,
Fatalities in crashes from being impaired while driving decreased from 471 in 2020 to 450 in 2021. While impaired driving fatalities have decreased over the last 15 years, they remain high, accounting for more than 35% of fatalities in 2021. Pennsylvania takes a proactive approach to combat impaired driving, focused on enforcement and educational programs as well as legislative efforts and new technologies to aid in the detection of impairment
Pedestrian fatalities increased from 146 in 2020 to 182 in 2021. These types of fatalities accounted for 15% of deaths statewide.
Other crash types with notable increases in fatalities in 2021 include:
- Crashes involving a 16 to the 17-year-old driver – 45 fatalities, up from 26 in 2020.
- Crashes involving aggressive driving – 126 fatalities, up from 91 in 2020.
- Motorcyclist fatalities – 226, up from 217 in 2020.
- Crashes involving heavy trucks – 156 fatalities, up from 122 in 2020.
- Unrestrained fatalities – 378, up from 348 in 2020.
“Transportation needs to work for everyone – no matter who you are, no matter how you travel,” said Gramian. “We continue to work with our partners to decrease fatalities through educational outreach, the latest innovations, effective enforcement, and low-cost safety improvements.”
For more information on reportable crash data, click here.