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Pennsylvania Car Accident Statistics

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation released a report last year which presents some stark data on the high rate of dangerous and potentially fatal motor vehicle accidents across the Keystone State₁. Behind these grim statistics are real people whose lives have been drastically altered or in the most tragic of cases even cut short altogether.

The Philadelphia car accident attorneys at Cousin Benny focus on helping victims and their families secure the justice and financial relief they are entitled to following car crashes out of their control. If you were in an accident and need legal support in Pennsylvania, call Cousin Benny today!

How Many Car Accidents Happen Each Year In PA?

In 2020, there were approximately 104,475 car accidents and 1,100 fatalities reported in Pennsylvania, according to PennDOT. Each day, 286 reportable traffic crashes occurred along the state’s roads and highway system, which amounts to about 12 accidents every hour. On a given day, 168 people were injured in these reported crashes (roughly 7 every hour) and three people sadly were killed.

Odds You Will Be Involved In A Car Accident

The probability of becoming involved in a car accident is more common than many Pennsylvanians may realize. One out of every 57 individuals on the road will be part of a traffic accident. Furthermore, the likelihood of sustaining an injury in such a crash is also significant, with one out of every 209 drivers facing this unfortunate and unforeseen circumstance.

Even more unsettling is the statistic that one out of 11,339 individuals will lose their life in an accident in PA. These numbers serve as a reminder of the risks associated with driving and the critical need for road safety precautions. With such odds, it’s clear that proactive safety steps, such as wearing seat belts and avoiding distracted driving, are more crucial today than ever.

Car Crashes In Pennsylvania By Vehicle Type

The breakdown of car crashes by vehicle type in Pennsylvania offers revealing insights into where the most significant dangers lie. Passenger cars top the list with 88,763 vehicles involved in accidents, pointing to the ubiquity of these vehicles on the road and the associated risks every time you get behind the wheel.

Following closely are light trucks, vans, and SUVs, which accounted for 65,715 vehicles involved in accidents in Pennsylvania in 2020. Heavy trucks, those weighing at least 10,000 pounds, made up 6,905 of that year’s accidents. Motorcycles were involved in 3,503 incidents, underscoring the vulnerabilities of two-wheelers on the road.

Bicycles were part of 822 accidents, bringing attention to the concerns of non-motorized road users in respect to sharing lanes. Commercial buses were involved in 321 crashes, while a miscellaneous category labeled “Other” included 2,061 vehicles. These statistics highlight the wide range of vehicles that contribute to road incidents and stress the need for tailored safety measures for each mode of transportation.

What Are The Most Common Causes of Car Crashes?

The primary culprits behind car crashes in Pennsylvania reveal concerning behavioral patterns among drivers. Speeding ranks as the leading cause, contributing to 25,021 accidents, indicating a widespread disregard for speed limits and road conditions. Distracted driving follows with 11,019 crashes, highlighting the dangers of smartphone use, eating, or any other activities that divert attention from the road.

Improper turning is another major cause, resulting in 10,483 incidents, which signifies a need for better awareness while maneuvering. Proceeding without clearance accounted for 6,799 crashes in PA, pointing to issues with ignoring signals from other motorists or posted road signs.

Drunk driving was the cause in 6,565 reported crashes, emphasizing the life-altering consequences of driving under the influence. Other notable causes include improper passing with 4,545 crashes, tailgating or following too closely (4,476 incidents), and drowsy driving causing 1,948 crashes.

Common Types Of Car Accidents In Pennsylvania

The spectrum of car accidents in Pennsylvania varies widely in terms of both their nature and severity. Hitting a fixed object leads the list in both injuries and fatalities, causing 31,998 injuries and 395 deaths in 2020. Angle crashes are another significant concern, resulting in 28,644 injuries and 269 fatalities that year.

Injuries from rear-end collisions are also high, totaling 19,336, although fatalities are relatively lower for this type of crash at 82. Direct collisions, which often involve head-on impacts, result in 4,780 injuries and 114 deaths. Sideswipe accidents account for 7,692 injuries and 29 fatalities.

When it comes to accidents involving pedestrians, there were 2,739 injuries and 139 fatalities, drawing attention to the risks faced by those on foot. Non-collision events, such as rollovers, caused 3,599 injuries and 76 fatalities. Backing-up accidents are the least frequent crash but still resulted in 400 injuries and a single fatality.

A category labeled “Other” includes 5,287 injuries and 24 fatalities. Understanding these patterns is crucial for lawmakers targeting safety initiatives and creating effective preventive measures in the state.

Where/When Do The Majority Of Car Crashes Occur? And To Who?

The trends in car accidents across Pennsylvania show specific patterns in terms of timing, age groups, causes, and locations. Fridays emerge as the peak day for accidents, witnessing 17,147 incidents or 16.4% of the total, with Wednesdays coming in next at 15,670 or 15.0%. The weekend days, Saturday and Sunday, account for fewer accidents comparatively, recording 15,322 and 12,886 incidents, respectively.

When it comes to the causes, hitting a fixed object leads the list in fatalities, making it a critical focus for safety interventions. Age-wise, nearly 40% of all accidents involve individuals between the ages of 16 and 30, with specific breakdowns being 19,357 for ages 16-20, 22,067 for ages 21-25, and 19,792 for ages 26-30.

In terms of location, the majority of these accidents, 66,225 to be precise, occur on state highways that are not interstates. These insights collectively offer valuable information for targeted safety campaigns and enforcement actions by highway patrol.

Economic Losses Caused By Traffic Accidents

The financial toll of car accidents in Pennsylvania is staggering, underscoring the significant economic impact of such hazardous moments in addition to the human cost. Fatal injury-related crashes alone accounted for approximately $14.2 billion in 2020, representing a per-crash cost of about $13,383,153. Suspected serious injury crashes were not far behind, costing roughly $2.8 billion overall or $759,652 per incident.

Suspected minor injury crashes, despite their less severe nature, still racked up about $5.7 billion in costs, averaging $244,045 per accident. Possible injury crashes generated around $2.4 billion in expenses, with a per-crash cost of $134,172. Even crashes that resulted only in property damage amounted to $727.6 million, with an average cost of $12,446 per incident.

When all these figures are combined, the total financial losses from car accidents across the state were an astonishing $25.8 billion for the year listed in this study. This data highlights the pressing need for effective safety measures and awareness programs to reduce both the human and economic burdens of car accidents.

Alcohol-Related Car Accidents

The data on alcohol-related car accidents presents a concerning portrait of age groups and gender disproportionately affected. In 2020, drivers between the ages of 31 and 35 were most severely impacted, with 44% of them dying in alcohol-related accidents. They were followed by those aged 26 to 30, where 36% met a similar tragic fate. Younger drivers, specifically those between 16 and 20, were not spared either, with 17% succumbing to alcohol-related crashes.

Gender-wise, male drivers represented 74% of these accidents, pointing to a particular vulnerability among this demographic. On a daily basis, the figures are equally alarming, with an average of 21 alcohol-related traffic accidents happening each day.

Pennsylvania’s Most Dangerous Counties & Roads

When it comes to geographic distribution, Pennsylvania’s traffic accidents are notably concentrated in specific counties and roads. Philadelphia leads with 9.7% of all reported incidents in 2020, closely followed by Allegheny County with 9.4%, and Montgomery County registering at 6.6%. Within Philadelphia itself, two roads were identified as particularly perilous in 2020: Delaware Expressway reported 1,292 accidents, while Lincoln Highway saw even more at 1,762. These high-traffic areas not only bear a disproportionate share of the overall accident statistics but also warrant special attention for safety improvements and law enforcement efforts.

Injured in a Car Accident? Call the Attorneys of Cousin Benny Today to Find Out How Much Your Case is Worth

Every car accident that results in an injury or death causes an immeasurable loss. A skilled car accident attorney can help you build a strong case to obtain the compensation you deserve for an accident that you were not ruled at fault in.

Contact the attorneys at Cousin Benny today for a free and confidential consultation.



Benjamin Hoffman

Benjamin Hoffman is a practicing attorney licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey as well as the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Benjamin handles cases for individuals who have been injured as a result of an accident, slip/trip and fall or medical negligence.

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Benjamin Hoffman
Benjamin Hoffman is a practicing attorney licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey as well as the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Benjamin handles cases for individuals who have been injured as a result of an accident, slip/trip and fall or medical negligence.
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