There can be a lot of joy involved in getting out on the open road with a vehicle. It is an experience that many citizens of Pennsylvania take pleasure in and also rely on for more practical purposes. However, that joy can unfortunately sometimes turn to tragedy when accidents occur. A new report from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) shows promising developments in traffic deaths overall. However, that silver lining is marred by a troubling pair of statistics.

According to PennDOT, the total number of traffic fatalities was 1,195 in 2014. This marks the lowest number of traffic deaths in the state since the statistic began being tracked in 1928. An all-time low in deaths in more than 80 years is certainly a positive development. But while the total number has decreased, statistics show the opposite is true for teenage and senior citizen traffic deaths.

Traffic fatalities for teen drivers (ages 16-17) increased 37 percent in 2014, going from 27 total deaths to 37. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, teenage drivers have the highest crash rate in the United States, with 6 out of 10 accidents stemming from cases of distracted driving. While there have been measure taken in attempts to further decrease these incidents (graduated driver licensing, laws against cell phone use in vehicles and more), the lure of distractions such as cell phones continues to be a major issue.

Car accidents can be tragic events that irreparably change lives. Whether it’s a severe injury or death, the extreme emotional pain that is experienced can be magnified by other elements such as medical expenses, funeral expenses and more. If the cause of a car accident is determined to be the negligence of another individual, compensation may be able to be received. Seeking the assistance of an experienced attorney can be the first step in seeking such compensation.

Source: Bucks Local News, “Traffic deaths at all-time low in Pennsylvania, but teen and senior driver fatalities bucking the trend,” April 21, 2015