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One Penn. county seeing sharp increase in fatal car accidents

There are millions of drivers that travel Pennsylvania roads and highways each day. Certainly, everyone driving or riding in a vehicle hopes to arrive at their destinations safely. Officials were pleased to report recently that the number of fatal car accidents was at an historic low for the state. However, one county is not observing the same trend.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reports that Beaver County actually had three times the number of fatalities in car crashes in 2017 than those that occurred in 2016. This statistic is troubling to experts because the county had experienced a decline in the number of fatal accidents in the previous five years. Traffic engineers have been attempting to determine the circumstances of the accidents and what caused them to happen.

There is not a predominant pattern in the locations, times or vehicles involved in the crashes. However, several of the accidents were caused by distracted driving, speeding or aggressive behavior. In addition, two of the crashes involved alcohol. Police officials hope to monitor the roads more effectively to eliminate these dangers to motorists.

Officers stress that technology has quickly become a hazard on the roadways. Texting while driving is perhaps the most common way motorists can become distracted. However, police cite other behaviors, some as simple as looking away for a few seconds or even sneezing, as causes of distraction.

Fatal car accidents are devastating to surviving family members, no matter what the cause of the crashes. However, it is heartbreaking to know that the deaths could have likely been avoided when they were the result of distracted, aggressive or drunk driving. Family members may decide to pursue wrongful death litigation against a driver who caused the death of their loved ones. A Pennsylvania personal injury attorney can assist them throughout every step of the legal process.

Source: timesonline.com, "Fatal crashes in Beaver County tripled in 2017", Daveen Rae Kurutz, April 29, 2018

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