Pennsylvania is the site of thousands of motor vehicle collisions each year. Motorists should be aware of current collision statistics so they can understand the risks they face on the road and make informed driving choices to ensure they are driving in the safest way possible.
Our car accident attorneys are committed to fighting for the rights of those who have been injured by drivers who failed to use appropriate care in operating a motor vehicle.
Understanding the Risks of Pennsylvania Car Accidents
PennDOT released a comprehensive report showcasing the dangers on Pennsylvania's roads. According to the report, there were 66,735 crashes in Pennsylvania which resulted in property damage only. Further, there were 59,290 collisions that resulted in injuries. As far as fatal accidents, there were 1,102.
There were more fatalities than fatal crashes (as many some crashes resulted in multiple deaths). Officials report in total, there were 1,200 traffic deaths in the state last year.
Many injury-causing crashes also resulted in multiple people getting hurt. A total of 82,004 people were injured, 3,030 suffered injuries classified as major. Another 12,503 injuries were described as moderate, while 40,364 injuries were classified as minor. The severity was not known of the remaining 26,107 injuries.
These injuries and deaths caused substantial financial losses. The deaths resulted in total economic loss of $7,882,759,200. The major injuries alone caused $4,332,433,380 in economic loss.
Because deaths and serious injuries are so costly to those affected, it is important for crash victims and their families to understand the legal options available to them for recovering compensation. Victims could pursue a claim for serious injury and families could pursue a claim for wrongful death damages with help from an attorney if they can prove the crash was someone else's fault. The person responsible for causing the crash could be liable for covering losses. Other defendants may include:
- The driver's employer (if he or she was on-the-job);
- The owner of the vehicle;
- The bar/ restaurant that served alcohol to the driver prior to the crash.
Passenger cars were involved in the highest total number of auto accidents, with 117,776 passenger cars reportedly involved in auto accidents. Light trucks, SUVs and vans were involved in 77,413 accidents while heavy trucks were involved in 7,465 collisions. If a heavy truck is involved in a crash, an accident claim may be very different than if a collision involves only private individuals in personal vehicles. After a truck crash, victims will sometimes be able to recover more in compensation by suing the trucking company employing the driver who caused the accident, rather than only suing the truck driver.
School buses were also involved in 314 accidents. School buses, like trucks, make accident claims more complicated. If the bus is operated by a school district and affiliated with the government, a claim may need to be made against the government agency which is responsible for the bus transportation. Suing government agencies is different than suing individuals and there are special sovereign immunity rules which an attorney can help you to understand if you are involved in an auto accident with a government-affiliated vehicle.
Younger drivers also were responsible for more accidents than older motorists. For example, while just one percent of accidents involved a driver aged 75 and older, 17-year-olds were involved in 4.9 percent of collisions. Young drivers are expected to have the same insurance coverage as older motorists and claims can be made against them just like claims can be made against older motorists.