Lehigh Valley averages 70 traffic accident deaths each year

A draft report entitled “Traffic Safety in the Lehigh Valley, 2004-08” reports that 63 traffic related deaths occurred in the Lehigh Valley in 2008. The study reviewed only reportable accidents on state and federal roads and highways in the Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton area. It did not include municipal roadway accidents. The Planning Commission reported the following accident related statistics: 1. From 2004 to 2008, 328 fatalities were reported in Lehigh and Northampton counties. In 2005, a high of 81 fatalities were reported. In 2005, a low of 59 fatalities were reported. On average, 70 fatalities occurred each year over the 2004 to 2008 period. 2. The Lehigh Valley averaged 5,589 injuries from car and traffic accidents per year during the period from 2004 to 2008. 3. The Lehigh Valley averaged 7,949 reportable car and traffic accidents from 2004 to 2008. 4. 33 percent of accidents are described as “angle” crashes resulting from vehicles colliding at junction points or driveways or entrance ramps. These are the most prevalent reportable accidents in the Lehigh Valley. 5. Fixed objects like trees, bridge piers and utility poles are the single most leading cause of fatalities in the Lehigh Valley representing 38 percent of crashes. 6. Rear end accidents account for 23 percent of car and motor vehicle collisions in the Lehigh Valley during the 5 year time period. 7. Aggressive driving (speeding, tailgating, lane changes) is the biggest cause of fatal accidents. Aggressive driving accounted for 217 fatalities. 8. Alcohol related fatalities accounted for 102 roadway fatalities in car and truck accidents and traffic related accidents in the greater Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton, Pennsylvania areas. The report also addressed roadways and intersection where four or more fatalities occurred.

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