Posted October 10, 2016 | Car
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) releases an annual statewide report on auto accident deaths and injuries. By comparing these reports from year to year, it’s possible to see how crash trends and accident statistics change locally over time. Unfortunately, the data doesn’t always paint an optimistic picture. According to recent PennDOT statistics, crash-related injuries and fatalities are on the rise in Pennsylvania. If you have been hurt in a vehicular accident, you should talk to an experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyer about your options for seeking injury compensation.
When PennDOT released its 2014 statistics, Pennsylvania seemed to be moving in the right direction. Deaths and injuries were both down from the previous year, declining from 83,089 injuries and 1,208 deaths in 2013 to 79,758 injuries and 1,195 deaths in 2014.
Unfortunately, this trend has not continued. In 2015, there were 82,004 accident-related injuries: up 2,246 from 2014. There was also a slight increase in the total number of deaths caused by car crashes: exactly 1,200 in 2015, five more than the previous year.
Here’s how other key data points compared across the previous three years:
|Property Damage Only (PDO) Crashes||63,115||62,558||66,735|
In almost every instance, numbers dipped in 2014, but rose again in 2015. The only exception was the number of fatal crashes, which declined steadily. However, despite there being fewer fatal crashes in 2015 than in 2014, the resulting number of fatalities increased.
PennDOT also tracks car accident injuries by their severity, classifying injuries as minor, moderate, or severe. Distribution of injury severity has remained relatively stable over time, hovering in the same narrow ranges from 2013 to 2015:
Commercial trucks and motorcycles receive their own statistical evaluations. Here’s what PennDOT’s statistics revealed about Pennsylvania motorcycle accidents and trucking accidents in Pennsylvania over the past three years:
|Total Motorcycle Crashes||3,427||3,284||3,413|
|Total Heavy Truck Crashes||6,124||6,596||6,916|
|Heavy Truck Crash Fatalities||147||151||149|
The timing of a drive can impact the likelihood of an accident. Holidays, for example, are monitored by PennDOT due to the serious risks they pose for motorists. Though meant to be times of celebration, holidays are also associated with heightened numbers of accidents caused by an increase in the numbers of tired and intoxicated drivers on the roads. Here’s how major holidays compared across recent years, in terms of total crashes reported:
|Fourth of July||359||879||901|
The enormous spike in Christmas accidents stands out among the rest of the data: an increase of more than 600 crashes from 2014 to 2015.
Looking more broadly at times and dates, here’s how the most dangerous months and days of the week broke down:
|Month with Most Crashes||December||January||January|
|Month with Most Fatal Crashes||August||August||August|
|Day with Most Crashes||Friday||Friday||Friday|
|Day with Most Fatal Crashes||Saturday||Sunday||Sunday|
Fridays and weekends were consistently more dangerous for drivers than Monday through Thursday. The winter months consistently had the highest numbers of crashes, but summer, in particular August, consistently had the highest numbers of fatal crashes.
It’s also possible to see how various locations within Pennsylvania compare against each other. While percentages shifted (generally tending to stay fixed or increase over time), Philadelphia and Allegheny Counties were consistently poor performers, outranking all other counties in the state:
|County with Most Total Crashes||Allegheny County: 11,952 crashes (9.6% of total crashes)||Allegheny County: 12,154 (10%)||Allegheny County: 12,665 (10%)|
|County with Most Injury Crashes||Philadelphia County: 8,224 (13.7%)||Philadelphia County: 7,788 (13.5%)||Philadelphia County: 8,341 (14.1%)|
|County with Most Fatal Crashes||Philadelphia County: 84 (7.5%)||Philadelphia County: 89 (8.0%)||Philadelphia County: 85 (7.7%)|
While some of these trends have declined, many have gone in the opposite direction, indicating that, in many respects, 2015 was a worse year for accidents than 2014. Hopefully, 2016 will represent a decline in crashes, deaths, and injuries – but until PennDOT releases its next report, it will be impossible to know how this year stacks up.
If you or one of your family members was hurt in a car crash in Philadelphia County, or if your loved one was a victim of wrongful death, Philadelphia personal injury lawyer Brent Wieand can help determine whether you have an auto accident claim. You may be able to recover car accident compensation. To set up a free and confidential legal consultation with Brent, call the Wieand Law Firm, LLC at (888) 789-3161.
*Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes and is not legal advice. The Wieand Law Firm, LLC is based in Philadelphia, PA, and proud to serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.*