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Dangerous Roads

Thousands of families across the Alleghenies are getting ready to hit the road this holiday season.

And whether you’re going down the highway or on the roads less traveled, accidents happen. But serious ones are happening at an alarming pace.

PennDOT crash data shows that deadly crashes have gone up statewide in the past two years, with 2021 being the highest statewide since 2012. And the number of accidents with serious or deadly injuries in 2021 was the highest since 2002.

And it’s part of a national trend.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said deaths from car crashes in the first three months of this year hit the highest quarterly total since 2002. They blame the increase on speeding, impaired driving, and other reckless behavior, brought on by post-pandemic euphoria.

“When everyday life came to a halt in March 2020 risky behaviors skyrocketed and traffic fatalities spiked,” said NHTSA Administrator Dr. Steven Cliff, when the report was released in August. “We hoped these trends were limited to 2020 but sadly they aren’t.”

Locally, deadly crashes have also gone up in the past two years, though the 2021 total is below the decade-long average.

Top counties locally for fatal accidents are in counties that, not surprisingly, see our two most traveled roads make their way through, Interstate 80 (Clearfield and Centre counties), and the Pennsylvania Turnpike (Bedford and Somerset). Though all counties are also within their long-term averages.

But before you hit the road, check ahead. A good resource for the latest travel conditions is the state’s 511PA website.

Because all we want for Christmas is for you to make it to your destination, safely.

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