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Crash data released by the Pennsylvania State Police reveals seven deaths and 315 injuries resulting from 1,336 crashes occurring over the Christmas holiday period, which runs from Dec. 21 to Dec. 25. Of those crashes, 108 were found to be alcohol-related. One fatality resulted from those car accidents. Two of the seven individuals didn’t have seat belts.
In addition to the accidents, troopers made 348 arrests for driving under the influence. Three-hundred thirteen citations were issued for failing to wear seat belts. Another 37 drivers were cited for failing to properly retrain small children in child safety seats.
Overall, DUI arrests increased sharply during this Christmas holiday period compared to last year — 32 DUI arrests were made, up from 16 the year before. The overall number of roadway deaths during the Christmas driving period also increased, from five to seven.
However, those crash numbers only include incidents responded to and investigated by state police. Statistics from accidents and citations involving other law-enforcement agencies in Pennsylvania were not included. The total number of crashes, DUIs and roadway fatalities is greater than the numbers provided by the state highway patrol.
But the data does illustrate the continued need for increased law enforcement on the roadways, as well as the roadway awareness that should be employed by all drivers, even if they are exhibiting safe driving behaviors. With more cars on the roadways during the holiday season, more accidents are inevitable, so drivers should be cautious and practice defensive driving to avoid becoming a victim of another accident.
Source: Montgomery News, “Pennsylvania State Police release holiday accident statistics,” Dec. 27, 2012