Both the safety advocacy group the National Safety Council and the state Department of Transportation say road deaths are dropping in Pennsylvania.

In 2017, the number of fatalities in the state from auto accidents was 1141. In 2016, it was 1189 and in 2015 it was 1205, or a 5 percent drop from 2015 to 2017, according to the NSC.

Statewide stats

There are more than 120,000 miles of roads and highways in Pennsylvania that produced 101.1 billion vehicle miles in 2017 – the fatality rate of 1.12 fatalities per one hundred million vehicle miles was the lowest recorded since the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation started keeping statistics in 1935.

The Pennsylvania stats also show that pedestrian fatalities are down while motorcycle and bicycle fatalities remain steady. Alcohol-related fatalities dropped from 381 in 2013 to 293 in 2017 while speed-related fatalities went from 322 in 2013 to 304 in 2017.

National figures

The national figures tell a different story. While deaths are down from a high of 45,380 in 2002, the national death toll on roads topped 40,000 for the third straight year, the NSC reports.

Meanwhile, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that traffic fatalities are up nationally – 23,371 in 2010 to 25,096 in 2016.

Differences in totals comes from differences in methodology and reporting organizations. For example, NSC counts both traffic and nontraffic deaths within a year of the accident, while NHTSA counts only traffic deaths that occur within 30 days.

The NHTSA reports that across the nation, there were an estimated 105,000 motorcyclist fatalities and 85,000 pedestrian fatalities in 2016, compared to 82,000 motorcyclist and 70,000 pedestrian fatalities in 2010.

When you are injured in a crash, or a loved one is injured or killed in an automobile accident, it’s important that you have a qualified, experienced attorney to help guide you through the legal hurdles that arise.