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According to the third article from the Shamokin News Item in a series of articles studying crashes in Central Pennsylvania, drivers in North-Central Pennsylvania should “Buckle up, don’t drink and drive and pay attention to the road.” The study in today’s paper reports that’s the advice given to motorists by Rick Mason, community relations director for PennDOT District 3 in Montoursville.

PennDOT officials recently revealed statistics involving fatalities on state and municipal roads in District 3 in 2011. Mason said the most common causes of highway-related fatalities are aggressive driving, failure to wear seat belts and driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. He said there were a total of 73 fatal crashes resulting in 78 fatalities in 2011. Five of the crashes were double fatalities.

Twenty-eight of the fatal crashes involved a vehicle hitting a fixed object. Fifteen were head-on collisions and 18 were intersection/angle crashes. Four pedestrians were killed, while two motorists died when their vehicles hit a train. One motorist died when his vehicle hit a deer. Two of the fatalities were rollovers, two others involved rear-end collisions, and one involved a vehicle being sideswiped.

Mason said 18 of the 73 (25 percent) fatal crashes involved DUI, resulting in 19 deaths. Eleven drivers killed were DUI, while other controlled substances were detected on another victim. Six people were killed by someone else who was DUI, and one pedestrian who died had alcohol in his or her system.

In Northumberland County, there were 11 people killed on state roads and two on municipal roads. One of the deaths was DUI-related. Lycoming County had the most fatalities with 19, with 18 occurring on state roads and seven being DUI-related.

Mason said 66 people were killed in passenger vehicles, with 32 of the victims (48 percent) not wearing seat belts. Twenty-seven of the victims were wearing seat belts. It couldn’t be determined if the remaining seven victims were wearing seat belts.

Twelve people were killed in non-passenger vehicles. Six of the victims were killed on motorcycles, with five wearing helmets. Four people killed were pedestrians and two of the victims were killed on all-terrain vehicles, neither of which was wearing a helmet.

During the past five years, Mason said the district average for fatalities was 81, with the lowest being 66 in 2009 and the highest being 105 in 2010. For more on today’s article and more on the series of articles go to the Shamokin News Item website at the folliwing link:

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