Penn Live recently reported the number of fatal Pennsylvania traffic collisions has hit an all time low, but Central Pennsylvania remains a deadly hot spot.
Cumberland County reported 28 fatal accident victims last year. In Dauphin County, crashes killed nearly twice as many people as homicides. Luzerne County reported 27 fatalities, which was actually the first time fewer than 30 victims died on county roads in the last five years.
Car Accident Risks Increasing in Rural PA
Like a number of other state and national studies, Pennsylvania's data highlights a startling trend: rural areas are some of the most dangerous in the nation for motorists. Many people think it's because of suburbanites making longer commutes. Others point to bad roads, lack of street lighting and inadequate infrastructure. Still others believe rural motorists tend to put their guard down behind the wheel as compared to those driving in heavy urban traffic.
Wallet Hub recently reported the most dangerous states for drivers were all located in the Southwest, include Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada. While some of these areas are experiencing significant growth, the fact they are largely removed from the nation's largest population centers cannot be ignored. Pennsylvania as a whole did better in that study, ranking 28th safest overall and 31st in road safety. But those of us who live in rural portions of Pennsylvania should keep a close eye on the dangers in those rural Southwestern states.
Safety advocates are urging rural motorists to make road safety a higher priority. Obeying speed limits, not driving too fast for conditions, and safe passing are required safe rural driving skills. Paying extra attention to bicyclists and pedestrians can also prevent a serious or fatal accident.
Accident Liability and Hazleton Car Accidents
Beyond those precautions, common sense road safety will go a long way toward keeping you and your family safe and avoiding the liability associated with causing a motor vehicle collision. More than half of all Central Pennsylvania traffic collisions were caused by speeding, drunk driving, distracted driving and aggressive driving.
"The majority of crashes are due to choices drivers make behind the wheel," said PennDOT spokeswoman Fritzi Schreffler.
Identifying at-fault parties and available insurance coverage will be a primary focus of your Hazleton car accident attorney. Those with a case for damages against an at-fault driver may include passengers in the at-fault driver's vehicle, as well as other victims. Even those found partially at fault may be entitled to collect a portion of damages under Pennsylvania law.
Pennsylvania's comparative fault statute, found in 42 PA Cons Stat § 7102 (2014), permits accident victims found partially at fault to collect damages from a defendant as long as victim's negligence was not greater than defendant's casual negligence. However, an award may be reduced in proportion to plaintiff fault.
If you have been injured in an auto accident, you should speak to an attorney at the Law Offices of Edward P. McNelis.