PennDOT Asks Motorists to “Put the Brakes on Fatalities”

car crashImage by Netto Figueiredo

HARRISBURG, PA — The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is urging motorists to always practice safe driving habits to limit the number of highway deaths across the state in connection with “Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day” on Sunday, October 10, 2021.

“Regardless of what mode you use to travel, everyone has a responsibility to keep our roadways safe,” said PennDOT District 1 Executive Brian McNulty, P.E. “Motorists can do their part by never driving impaired or distracted, always wearing a seat belt, and obeying posted speed limits.”

In 2020, there were 1,129 total traffic fatalities in Pennsylvania, which is an average of three people suffering fatal injuries in crashes per day, according to PennDOT data.

Fifty-one of the fatalities occurred within PennDOT’s District 1, which includes Crawford, Erie, Forest, Mercer, Venango, and Warren counties.

National data shows more than 90 percent of crashes are caused by driver behavior. Impaired driving was a contributing factor in 17 fatalities in the northwest region in 2020. Speeding is also a leading contributor to fatal crashes in the region and statewide.

After recording a record low of 1,059 traffic deaths in 2019, statewide highway fatalities increased to 1,129 last year, the second-lowest total on record.

Roadway deaths are also on a downward trend in District 1, decreasing to 51 in 2020. In comparison, there were 73 fatalities in 2016.

“Although we’ve seen a reduction in the number of fatal crashes locally in recent years, there is still plenty of room for improvement and lives that can be saved,” McNulty said.

For more information on safe driving habits, visit

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