The safety of our streets and roads is a serious concern, especially in Pennsylvania. Our state has some of the most unsafe streets in the country, with high numbers of pedestrian and motor vehicle accidents resulting in injuries and fatalities every day.
That’s why the recent introduction of the Shovel Ready Streets Act in Congress is a much-needed step in making our roads safer for everyone. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most dangerous roads in Pennsylvania, what’s being done to improve safety federally and locally, and what you should do if you’ve been injured on the road.
Most Dangerous Roads in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania has some of the most dangerous roads in the country. According to Pennsylvania crash statistics from the PA Department of Transportation (PennDOT), three people were killed each day in car crashes and an additional 184 people were injured per day in 2022.
With more than 120,000 linear miles of highway and more than 233.6 million miles of daily vehicle miles of travel, almost all of us can expect to be involved in some kind of car accident, at some point in time, regardless of how careful we are. But which roads are the most dangerous?
If you’ve driven through Pennsylvania, it should come as no surprise the top 5 most dangerous roads are:
- Interstate 78: I-78 is known for its high volume of tractor-trailers and is also frequently under construction. Both of these factors make this interstate among the most dangerous in PA.
- Interstate 83: I-83 stretches for 85 miles north to south in Pennsylvania and further south through Maryland. This road is heavily used for travel and unfortunately, isn’t well maintained in certain areas.
- Interstate 80: I-80 is the longest stretch of road in Pennsylvania, running east to west. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, this road is one of the most neglected in the state. Even more, harsh winter weather can make this roadway dangerous and even impassable.
- Interstate 81: I-81, which runs north to south, is notorious for big rig accidents. In fact, this road was the location of a massive pileup in 2022 that resulted in 6 fatalities.
- Interstate 95: I-95 is not only one of the most dangerous roads in PA, but also one of the most dangerous in the United States. Running the entire east coast from Maine to Florida, the 12-mile stretch near Philadelphia is one of the most heavily traveled.
Most, if not all drivers in Pennsylvania will need to travel on one of the most dangerous roads in the state. It’s essential to practice safe driving all the time, paying particular attention to safety on hazardous roads. The good news is there are plans across the state and country to improve road safety, including the Shovel Ready Streets Act introduced just last month.
Improving Road Safety in Pennsylvania
Car accidents are one of the leading causes of death in Pennsylvania. Between 2016-2020, PA averaged 1,141 highway fatalities and 4,446 serious injuries per year. While car accidents may never completely disappear, state and federal programs are working towards improving traffic and road safety.
Most notable is the Shovel Ready Streets Act, which was introduced federally just last month. If passed, it will fund street safety improvements such as bike lanes, pedestrian crossings, better street lighting, and reduced vehicle speeds. By prioritizing pedestrian safety, the act encourages cities and states to design more walkable neighborhoods and safer streets. The act also aims to reduce the carbon footprint of our transportation system and secure infrastructure investments.
Other programs and improvements designed to improve road safety include:
- Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP): The SHSP, developed by PennDOT, is a blueprint to reduce fatalities and injuries on Pennsylvania roadways. It focuses on “priority emphasis areas” such as lane departure crashes, drunk driver incidents, and pedestrian safety.
- Rumble Strips: The noise of a rumble strip serves as an alarm or alert that a driver has veered off course. Rumble strips can help reduce distracted driving and can also remind fatigued drivers to take a break.
- Curve Warnings: Some car crashes occur when a driver is unfamiliar with the road they are traveling on. Curve warnings (mostly through signage) are being used statewide to alert drivers of a change in road pattern.
- Cable Median Barriers: Somewhat new to road infrastructure, cable median barriers are more forgiving than concrete barriers. Cable median barriers prevent cross-over crashes and as of December 2022, 503 miles of cable media barrier had been installed in PA.
- Roundabouts: Research from PennDOT revealed roundabouts can decrease the rate of fatalities and serious injuries. Roundabouts are being implemented in many cities across PA.
Even with road improvements in Pennsylvania, drivers may experience an injury accident through no fault of their own. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s important to work with a personal injury attorney. Your attorney will not only help you with your injury case, but they will also navigate you through the steps to take immediately following your accident.
Steps to Take After a Road Accident
If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a road accident, the steps you take after the accident are important to ensure your safety and to protect your rights as a car accident victim. Even if you feel you are fine after an accident, it’s important to follow these steps to protect your rights in a personal injury claim:
- Call 911: As soon as possible, call emergency services to help you after an accident. The 911 operator will send the police and an ambulance to the scene. The police will file an accident report and help document the car accident.
- Seek Medical Treatment: Even if you are feeling okay and do not think you are injured, always let the EMTs on the scene examine you. Even more, follow up with your primary care physician. Some injuries such as a mild concussion or serious internal bleeding can be hard to diagnose immediately. Medical documentation is key in car accident cases.
- Document the Scene: If you are able, talk to witnesses, take photos, and gather evidence.
- Contact a Personal Injury Law Firm: Navigating a personal injury case is complicated without legal representation. Having the right team on your side can make a difference in your settlement or verdict. Experienced attorneys understand the ins and outs of a car accident case. The insurance companies have teams of lawyers on their side, and you deserve the same representation.
Car Accident Attorneys in Lancaster County
At Georgelis, Larsen & Sabatino Injury Law Firm, P.C., we focus solely on personal injury and workers’ compensation cases. Our team of paralegals and attorneys understands the legal system in Lancaster County and Central Pennsylvania and is ready to fight for your rights in your personal injury car accident case.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, contact us today for a free consultation. We can review your case and help you understand your rights as an accident victim. Even the most minor injuries can result in expensive medical bills and time away from work. Don’t let that stress fall on you alone. We can meet you at your home, office, or even a hospital or rehabilitation facility.
Call us today at 1-800-HURT-NOW or start a conversation with us online. We never charge a fee for our time and are only compensated when we win your case!