PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Preliminary data shows deaths on Pennsylvania roadways increased by as much as 10% in 2021.
That's why PennDOT and Pennsylvania State Police officials are once again urging drivers to put safety first as part of Pennsylvania's Highway Safety Law Awareness Week event.
The awareness week begins next Sunday, Feb. 20, and will highlight laws that impact crashes and fatalities each year including distracted driving, seat belts, impaired driving, speeding and Pennsylvania's Young Driver Law.
Officials say eliminating distracted driving is one of the easiest ways to reduce traffic fatalities.
"Driving distracted is anytime you don't have your full attention on the road, anything that gets your eyes off the road and what you're doing," said PennDOT Acting Executive Deputy Secretary Melissa Batula. "And of course anything that causes you to take your hand off the wheel. Driving really is a complicated task and it requires all of our attention. Although we recognize not every distraction can be eliminated, most of these can be prevented."
Proper use of seatbelts is also a main focus of the campaign.
In 2020, it is estimated that 94% of unbuckled car occupants who were killed in a crash could have survived if they were buckled up.