Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Fall 2023

Department 1

Environmental Studies


This study addresses the rising motor vehicle accident and fatality rates in the United States (Moore, 2023). Focusing on the conditions in the Gettysburg Borough in an attempt to answer the following research questions: Are age of driver, weather conditions of car accidents, and traffic volume contributing to accidents in the Gettysburg Borough? What are the roadway characteristics of accident hot spot areas within the Gettysburg Borough? Utilizing Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) crash data from 2018 to 2022 and PennDot Average Annual Daily Traffic data, this study employs a comprehensive approach. Combining GIS analysis and statistical analysis to determine what unique factors of the Gettysburg Borough roadways are contributing to accident frequency. In this study, we used GIS spatial analysis to determine accident locations occurring within hotspot areas and accident locations occurring outside of hotspots within the Borough. We will also utilize a data collection instrument to analyze the roadway characteristics of these accident sites in the field, combined with statistical examination of age and weather conditions that contribute to traffic accidents. Results indicate that certain roadway characteristics correlate to accident likelihood in hotspot areas. Roads are significantly wider in hotspot zones, and traffic measures and road markings are more evident within hotspot locations. Analysis of PennDOT crash data for Gettysburg suggests a correlation in increased accident frequency for +50-year drivers, and teenagers aged 16-20. We will also discuss the impact of weather conditions on road safety and the correlation to accident trends.


Written for ES 400: Seminar.