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Which Pennsylvania counties have the most auto accidents?

On Behalf of | Jul 7, 2023 | Auto Accidents |

Everyone who uses Pennsylvania roads is advised to be cautious whenever they head out in any capacity as a driver, passenger, bicyclist or pedestrian. Unfortunately, many accidents cannot be avoided regardless of how vigilant people are.

While there are certain catalysts for many accidents like distraction, driving under the influence, speeding, recklessness, drowsiness and inexperience, there might be useful information in avoiding collisions if people are aware of which counties have the highest number of crashes.

Knowing where and why accidents occur can be helpful. Still, when collisions do happen, people should be aware of the available options in the aftermath.

Statistics show which counties were the most dangerous for auto accidents

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s statistics for 2021 show which counties were the worst for auto accidents. Knowing the facts can be beneficial when trying to maintain safety.

In Pennsylvania, there are 67 counties with nearly 13 million people residing in them. Of course, their size, population and demographics will vary and this can impact auto crashes and their outcome. As part of its accumulation and assessment of crashes, PennDOT calculated the most traffic accidents per county.

The highest number was in Allegheny at just under 10%. Allegheny is one of the most populated counties in Pennsylvania with 9.6% of the population and its county seat is in Pittsburgh. The most populous county – Philadelphia – had 12.2% of the population living there. It had just under 9% of the statewide road accidents.

Regarding fatalities, Philadelphia led the way with just shy of 11%. Lancaster was next at 5.9%. Allegheny had 5.5%. For the five years preceding 2021, the numbers were consistent regarding the counties with the worst record for accidents.

Allegheny was steady with more than 12,000 per year from 2017 through 2019. In 2020, there was a drop to nearly 10,000, but fewer people took to the road for a large chunk of that year due to the national health crisis.

Lancaster was also consistent with its numbers ranging from a low of 4,794 in 2020 to a high of 6,038 in 2018. Generally, the county had nearly 6,000 accidents per year. Philadelphia had more than 10,000 for each of the five years. For fatalities, Alleghany generally had in the 60 to 70 range; Lancaster in the 40s until 2021 when it spiked to 73; and Philadelphia had 166 in 2020 and 133 in 2021.


Pedestrians in Philadelphia were the most vulnerable in the state with more than 40 deaths in three of the five years. Allegheny had 16 in both 2017 and 2021; 14 in 2018; 13 in 2019; and nine in 2020. Alcohol-related collisions were most frequent in Allegheny, Bucks and Philadelphia. Nearly half of all road fatalities happened in 10 of the 67 counties. Twenty-eight percent of the alcohol-linked deaths happened in five of the 67 counties.

Awareness of the auto accident statistics based on area can be useful for many reasons

As this shows, people who are taking to the roads in the larger, more populated urban areas are at far greater risk of an auto accident. Regardless of where the collision happened, people who were hurt or lost a loved one need to know how to prepare for the future.

There will likely be medical expenses, long-term needs, the possibility of lost time at work and inability to contribute to a family. Empathetic and experienced assistance can be critical to deciding how to move forward after an auto accident no matter where and how it happened.