Holiday Weekend Sees Rise in Traffic Deaths, DUIs

A busy weekend for the Pennsylvania State Police.

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The Harrisburg-based Pennsylvania State Police have released accident and arrest data from the holiday weekend, and according to their information, it was a deadlier Thanksgiving weekend across the state than last year.

From Wednesday through Sunday, PSP investigated 1,013 car crashes across the state. (Note that this data only covers PSP investigations — not investigations handled by local police departments.) Those crashes resulted in 15 deaths and 272 injuries. Last year, there were significantly more crashes but fewer fatalities. Over the 2014 Thanksgiving holiday weekend, PSP reported 1,457 crashes and seven deaths.

Police say that nearly a tenth of the accidents this year were alcohol-related, with seven of those alcohol-related crashes resulting in fatalities. DUI arrests were up this year as well: 558 DUI arrests compared to 493 last year.

And a lot of people still aren’t getting the message about seat belts, with 1,296 citations given out for seat belt violations and another 318 for child car seat violations. Meanwhile, 14,985 speeders were cited.

Looking specifically at more local numbers, crashes were actually up. The division of PSP that is assigned to Philadelphia, Montgomery and Delaware counties reports an increase of about 30 percent in car accidents and nearly double the injuries. This year, there were three fatalities compared to one last year. PSP DUI arrests in those three counties went from 45 last year to 48 in 2015.