PA Roads Low On Safety List

By Ashley Doerzbacher

Published 07/16 2014 05:24PM

Updated 07/16 2014 05:31PM

ALTOONA - Pennsylvania roadways are getting some recognition, but for the wrong reason.
A study released from the University of Michigan puts our state's roads near the bottom of the list when it comes to safety. The study listed Pennsylvania as the 34th safest state, with 13 deaths for every one billion miles traveled. That's higher than the national average.
Theresa Podguski, of AAA, said one of the reasons could be because of the amount of rural, winding roads in our state. And more people are traveling on those types of roadways.
"We see that people just don't slow down for those winding back roads sometimes and that's a reason they crash is that they didn't slow down," said Trooper McGarvey.
But there's some good news. Those numbers are actually going down when it comes to fatal crashes in our state. In our region alone, there were 69 people killed in 2012, and in 2013 there were 68 people.
So far this year, our research shows that at least 25 people have killed in crashes.
Drivers say they aren't surprised with the ranking. They said there are a number of factors that lead to deadly accidents, like the winding roads, speed, texting and even deer.
"When you keep that mind of the level of roadways it would be hard to be on the top of, high up on a survey of safety or anything like that because of the investment it takes to maintain those roadways," said Jennifer Fleck, of Blair County.
"They all need fixed,” said Trisha Gates, of Blair County. “From bridges, to tracks themselves to roads to potholes to ditches the bridges. Just coming to work in last 2 years, I've noticed more bridge work. And I guarantee those bridges are 30, 40 years old."
Podguski said AAA is committed to finding long-term solutions so Pennsylvania drivers do have better roads to travel on.
Trooper McGarvey said our roads have always been this way. It falls back on the driver to make sure they're traveling at a safe speed.

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