The death toll from auto-related accidents in Westmoreland County is climbing, with 34 fatalities so far this year.
Jay Ofsanik, a PennDOT safety spokesperson, says the accident reports show a trend. People who sped, were under the influence of alcohol, or did not wear a seat belt, were more likely to die in an accident.
Last year, there were 50 total fatalities. In 2006, there were 35.
Ofsanik says these rates are startling, and that driving slower will reduce the chances of a fatal accident.
Ofsanik also says young people between the ages of 16 to 25 were involved in half of these accidents, probably due to a combination of their inexperience and the preceding trends.