Car Accident Statistics in Pennsylvania

Each year, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) compiles data about all of the car accidents that occurred the previous year. These car accident statistics allow lawmakers, motorists, and other interested parties to compare the 2015 data to that from previous years and learn whether or not the Commonwealth’s roads are becoming safer.

The following is brief review of the 2015 data.

How many car accidents occurred in Pennsylvania in 2015?

In Pennsylvania, motorists must report any crash that causes injuries or property damage. For this reason, these are the only crashes included in PennDOT’s statistics.

In 2015, 127,127 reportable crashes occurred on Pennsylvania’s 120,000 miles of roadway. While this was the eleventh lowest total since 1950’s record low of 113,748, it surpassed the 2014 total of 121,317.

How many people suffered injuries or died on Pennsylvania roads in 2015?

These 127,127 crashes claimed the lives of 1,200 people and injured another 82,004. In 2015 alone, Pennsylvania residents and visitors drove approximately 99.8 billion vehicle-miles on the state’s roadways.

Based on this number, the 2015 rate of only 1.20 deaths per hundred million vehicle-miles of travel is the second lowest on record in the state. These statistics date back to 1935.

Of the 82,004 people injured in car crashes:

  • 3,030 sustained major injuries
  • 12,503 sustained moderate injuries
  • 40,364 people suffered minor injuries
  • The remainder (26,107) suffered injuries of unknown severity

Who is involved in Pennsylvania car crashes?

According to PennDOT, men between the ages of 26 and 40 are the most likely to be in a crash. This chart shows the gender and age of drivers involved in the 2015 accidents:

Age                             Male                           Female                       Total

Under 16                    99                                39                                138

16-25                          31,297                        22,738                        54,035                       

26-40                          34,348                        24,244                        58,592

41-55                          28,098                        18,588                        46,686

56-70                          18,820                        12,050                        30,870

Over 71                      7,223                          5,143                          12,366


When and where do Pennsylvania car crashes occur?


The vast majority of car accidents in Pennsylvania historically occur on state highways. This was true in 2015, as well. Accidents occurred on:

  • State highways: 82,040
  • Local roads: 32,011
  • Interstate highways: 10,544


More crashes took place during January (10.5 percent) than any other month, while April had the fewest number of crashes.

August had more car accident fatalities than any other month, with 123. Both May and July followed closely with 120 deaths each. The fewest fatalities occurred in February.


Thursday and Friday saw more crashes than any other days of the week, with 16 percent (20,327) of the 2015 crashes happening on Friday alone. 

The weekends, however, brought a proportionally greater number of fatality crashes.

Sunday accounted for less than 13 percent (16,160) of all crashes, but almost 18 percent (215) of all fatalities.


Most accidents occurred between the hours of 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., when traffic is typically at its peak. Congruently, the fewest number of accidents occurred when the least traffic is typically on the roads: Between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m.

What causes these crashes?

Most Pennsylvania car crashes each year occur due to driver error, or are the fault of an impaired driver. In 2015, car crashes were the result of the following:

  • Speeding: 33,176 crashes
  • Distracted driving: 14,805 crashes
  • Improper turn: 12,928 crashes
  • Drunk or impaired driver: 9,520 crashes
  • Proceeding “without clearance”: 8,434 crashes
  • Tailgating: 5,829 crashes
  • Illegal passing: 4,389 crashes
  • Drowsy drivers: 2,606 crashes

What should I do after a Pennsylvania car accident?

If you suffered injuries in a Pennsylvania car accident caused by the error of another motorist, you should discuss your legal options with a Pennsylvania car crash attorney.

Cordisco & Saile LLC can review your case to determine if you can file for compensation to cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, property damage and other losses due to the crash.

Contact us today at 215-486-8196 to schedule a free appointment.