Pennsylvania's roads appear to be at least a little safer. The number of deadly car accidents in the state dropped 2.5 percent in 2011, from 1,324 to 1,291, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's (PennDOT) annual highway death toll. This drop represents the second-lowest recorded total, falling behind 2009's record low of 1, 256 deaths.
PennDOT officials also reported a decrease in both bicycle and motorcycle-related fatalities. Bicyclist fatalities fell from 21 to 11, and motorcyclist deaths dropped from 223 to 198. The most notable decline, however, was in drunk-driving fatalities, which fell to its lowest number in over 10 years with 379 fatalities in 2011.
PennDOT attributes these declines to increased investments in safety improvements, including measures to prevent crossover head-on collisions and to reduce roadway obstructions. PennDOT says it has also directed more state and federal funds to expand safety education and enforcement.