Ahead, Just Down The Road: 24 Deadliest Hours

MALVERN PA – One of the year’s deadliest 24-hour periods for motorists is only five days away, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and a national insurer Wednesday (Dec. 28, 2016) warned drivers on highways across western Montgomery County and elsewhere to travel with caution during the New Year holiday.

The institute, an independent, nonprofit scientific and educational organization wholly supported by auto insurers, reports that New Year’s Day accidents across the country result an average of 118.2 deaths each year. Nearly 95 percent of car crashes are due to preventable human factors like drunk, distracted or drowsy driving; speeding; and failure to use safety features, it said.

Worse still, according to the Malvern PA-based offices of Allstate Insurance, the first half of 2016 experienced a “steep increase in the severity and frequency of traffic fatalities.”

“Intoxication is a significant factor in New Year’s Day crash fatalities,” Allstate’s Alyssa Ryan said. Sixty-two percent of crashes that occurred between 2010 and 2014 involved at least one driver, pedestrian, or bicyclist with a blood-alcohol concentration over the legal driving limit, institute statistics show.

“New Year’s is an exciting time, when we reflect on our lives and make ambitious goals for the year ahead,” Ryan said. “Practicing safe driving is a goal that’s beneficial for everyone’s health and safety, and is something that should be on the forefront of your mind every time you’re behind the wheel.”

Pennsylvania State Police, the state Transportation Department and local police agencies in the county will continue enforcement to keep impaired drivers off the road through the end of the holiday, PennDOT reported last month.

Photo from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety