Lebanon, PA Road Safety Overview
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) publishes an annual report with traffic crash statistics. PennDOT reports car accident and pedestrian accident statistics at the county level in this report.
PennDOT also provides the Pennsylvania Crash Information Tool (PCIT). This database allows users to search for crash information at the city level.
These databases paint a concerning picture of crashes in the city of Lebanon and Lebanon County. Although Lebanon County only has 1.1% of the state’s population, it has 1.9% of its fatal car accidents and 1.2% of the state’s injury accidents. This means the county has eight more deaths and 38 more injuries than it should for its population.
Here is an overview of Lebanon road safety.
Lebanon Crash Statistics
The most recent information provided by PennDOT comes from 2020. Bear in mind that 2020 was an unusual traffic year. Due to pandemic shutdowns and a severe drop in tourism, U.S. road use dropped by 13.2%, while fatalities jumped by 7.2%.
Traffic experts in the U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) attributed the jump in fatalities to increases in:
- Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol
- Risky behaviors such as driving without a seat belt
Like the rest of the country, PennDOT’s Crash Facts & Statistics reported that Lebanon County had a jump in traffic fatalities in 2020 despite a drop in total traffic accidents. In 2019, the county had 19 traffic fatalities, and in 2020, the count jumped to 22 fatalities.
At the same time, the county’s total number of traffic accidents dropped from 1,534 in 2019 to 1,317 in 2020. The Crash Facts report lists 532 injury crashes for Lebanon County in 2020.
The PCIT database includes crashes, fatalities, and injuries for Lebanon city. In 2021, Lebanon had 353 total traffic crashes. These crashes killed two pedestrians but no motorists. These accidents injured one pedestrian and 180 drivers and passengers.
Causes of Lebanon Crashes
Drivers cause about 94% of traffic accidents across the nation. The Crash Facts report that the most common driver-related causes of crashes include:
- Distracted driving
- Improper turns
According to the PCIT, Lebanon’s most common driver-related causes of traffic accidents in 2021 included:
- 48 distracted driving crashes
- 26 crashes with a driver who was speeding or traveling too fast for conditions
- 22 impaired driving crashes
- 14 tailgating crashes
- Three aggressive driving crashes
Of Lebanon city’s 181 injury crashes in 2021, only six were single-vehicle accidents. The rest involved a collision between a vehicle and another vehicle or a pedestrian.
The most common type of collision, according to the PCIT, included angle collisions. These crashes typically occur at intersections as one vehicle turns into or in front of another vehicle.
Over 70% of Lebanon’s traffic crashes happened at intersections. The second-most common collision in Lebanon was a rear-end collision, where one vehicle hits the back of another.
Most Dangerous Roads and Intersections in Lebanon, PA
The PCIT can generate a map that displays the locations of crashes in a selected city. According to the PCIT, Lebanon’s crashes tend to cluster around a few roads and intersections in the city. Some of the most dangerous locations in the city include:
As it passes south through the city, SR-72 follows Tenth Street. SR-72 connects Lebanon to Lancaster and provides a major north-south route through the city.
Tenth Street has seen over 50 crashes in the past two years. These accidents killed one pedestrian and one driver in separate incidents. They also injured 28 motorists and pedestrians.
The most dangerous intersections on Tenth Street include Lehman Street, Guilford Street, Chestnut Street, and US-422. The Chestnut and Tenth Street intersection has more accidents than any other intersection in Lebanon. But the Lehman and Tenth Street intersection accounts for multiple fatal accidents in the past two years.
Ninth Street provides the northbound lanes for SR-72 as it passes through Lebanon. Ninth Street combines with Tenth Street to provide one of the city’s busiest north-south routes.
Over the past two years, Ninth Street had over 45 crashes. One person has been killed, and 29 people have been injured in crashes on Ninth Street since 2020.
Ninth Street’s most dangerous intersections include Guilford Street and Lehman Street. Each of these intersections has seen over ten accidents over the past two years. And the fatality on Ninth Street happened at the intersection of Ninth Street and Guilford Street.
Twelfth Street and Chestnut Street
Chestnut Street is a narrow two-lane residential road. Twelfth Street is a wide three-lane commercial road near its intersection with Chestnut Street. As cars navigated this intersection in 2020 and 2021, twelve crashes resulted in eight injuries.
US-422 connects Lebanon to Hershey to the west and Reading and Philadelphia to the east. As it runs through Lebanon, eastbound traffic runs along Walnut Street while westbound traffic runs along Cumberland Street.
Across the entire city, more than 85 accidents happened on US-422 over the past two years. These crashes included over 70 injury accidents.
Navigating the Roads of Lebanon Safely
Lebanon, PA has more car accidents, injuries, and fatalities than it should. But you can reduce your risk of getting into an accident by slowing down, avoiding distractions, and leaving extra space between you and the vehicle in front of you.
The narrow roads in Lebanon often leave you with no space to make an emergency maneuver. Remaining alert and leaving yourself some space can help you avoid road and traffic hazards before they cause a crash.
Wearing a seat belt can save your life when you get into a traffic accident. The CDC estimates that seat belts reduce your risk of serious or fatal injuries by half.
According to the Crash Facts report, Lebanon County has one of Pennsylvania’s highest seat belt usage rates. In fact, 88% of Lebanon County residents wear their seat belts. The statewide average is 79%.
Even with this high seat belt use rate, the PCIT reports that 21 of the 180 people injured in Lebanon traffic accidents in 2021 were not wearing a seat belt.