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Each year, thousands of families lose loved ones in fatal motor vehicle accidents. Unfortunately, a new report indicates that the number of fatal motor vehicle accidents in the state of Pennsylvania increased slightly last year. However a spokeswoman for PennDot said it was still the third-lowest fatality rate on record.
PennDot reported that 1,310 people lost their lives in fatal highways accident in 2012, which was a 2 percent increase from 2011. The PennDot spokeswoman said that the fatality rate in 2012 was still very good when you consider that there were more than 1,500 highway fatalities in the state in 1997.
While there were 24 more people killed in accidents last year than the year before, the PennDot spokeswoman said the state is still experiencing an overall downward trend in fatalities. Both tougher traffic laws and more effective safety campaigns could be the reason for the decline in fatalities, the PennDot spokeswoman surmised.
But she indicated that the record for the lowest number of highway fatalities was set in 2009, which could indicate that the economic recession played a role as fewer people were working and traveling. Hopefully, as the economy continues to improve the fatality rate won’t increase along with it.
Another bit of good news is that the state’s tougher requirements for teen drivers, which were implemented in 2011, appear to be working. In 2012, highway deaths involving drivers between the ages of 16 and 17 dropped by a third from 66 fatalities in 2011 to 44 fatalities in 2012.
Source: CBS Philly, “Pennsylvania’s Fatal Traffic Accident Rate Ticked Upward in 2012,” April 1, 2013