Last year, 18 people died on Butler County highways.
Of those 18, PennDOT District 10 data showed 12 involved a driver that was over the age of 65. Six involved a motorcycle.
Statewide, traffic deaths increased in 2018 over the year prior to 1,190. But, 2018 still had the third-lowest number of highway fatalities recorded, and data shows overall fatalities continue to trend downward.
“Even one life lost is one too many, and Pennsylvania is committed to moving towards zero deaths,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said. “Our biggest priority continues to be safe travel regardless of the mode you use, and we continue to work with our partners to decrease fatalities through education and outreach.”
While the overall number of statewide highway deaths increased last year, decreases were noted in single vehicle run-off-the-road crashes, crashes involving motorcyclists, and heavy truck crashes. Fatalities in single vehicle run-off-the-road crashes dropped from 506 in 2017 to 478 in 2018. Motorcyclist fatalities also decreased from 185 in 2017 to 164 last year. There were 136 fatalities in 2018 crashes involving heavy trucks compared to 155 in 2017.
In addition to the statewide year-to-year decline, longer-term trends also continue to decrease. For example, compared to 2014, there were five fewer total traffic deaths, 37 fewer deaths in crashes involving impaired drivers, and 56 fewer fatalities in single vehicle run-off-the-road crashes.
The following crash types saw fatality increases in 2018:
- Crashes involving drug- or alcohol-impaired drivers – 355 fatalities, up from 246 in 2017;
- Crashes involving pedestrians – 201 fatalities, up from 150 in 2017; and
- Crashes involving drivers aged 65-74 – 188 fatalities, up from 124 in 2017.
National data shows over 90 percent of crashes are caused by driver behavior. For this reason, PennDOT says they continue to focus on enforcement and education improvements, and invests $18 million annually in federal grant funds statewide to support these behavioral safety programs.
Armstrong: 9 fatalities
56% of which were not wearing a seatbelt
44% of which were alcohol related deaths
Butler: 18 fatalities
33% of which were motorcyclists
67% of which involved a 65+ year old driver
Clarion: 8 fatalities
63% of which were speeding crashes
63% of which involved impaired drivers
Indiana: 10 fatalities
30% of which involved impaired drivers
Jefferson: 5 fatalities
80% of which were not wearing a seatbelt
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