National Safety Council data revealed that Pennsylvania’s 2020 traffic fatalities decreased by 13% compared to the first five months of 2019. Rather than a greater number of the state’s motorists embracing safer driving habits, the stay-at-home orders issued during the first half of 2020 accounted for the decrease.
During 2019, the state saw more than 1,000 car crashes per week. As reported by PennLive, after 2020’s stay-at-home orders went into effect, Pennsylvania experienced less than 500 accidents each week. Regardless of the part of the country, some basic causes remain the primary contributors to traffic accidents and fatalities.
Speeding and running red lights reflect two main causes
Data compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation shows that more than 25% of the fatal crashes in 2018 resulted from motorists driving too fast. In Pennsylvania, PennLive reported that police issued almost 4,000 speeding tickets in May of 2020 despite the state’s lockdown orders.
Red light violations contribute to some of the highest numbers of traffic deaths, estimated at more than two fatalities per day according to AAA. Responding to surveys, one-third of the drivers admitted to running a red light at least once during the prior month.
Distracted driving compared to driving with eyes closed
According to figures published in The Mercury, Pennsylvania saw more than 4,200 citations issued for distracted driving in 2019. The CDC estimates that eight roadway fatalities each day result from a distracted driver. The agency compares one of the main causes of distraction — texting — to driving with eyes closed across a full-length football field.
Whether the cause is reckless or distracted driving, motorists responsible for roadway injuries or fatalities may incur liability for any resulting harm. Depending on the circumstances, a driver may face legal action for injury compensation and criminal charges.