Most Dangerous Roads/Intersections in Carlisle, PA

Carlisle, PA has a good safety record. Cumberland County has 2.0% of Pennsylvania’s population but only 1.9% of Pennsylvania’s traffic accidents. This means that Cumberland County has fewer car accidents than it should based on its size.

But this does not mean Carlisle is completely free from dangerous roads or intersections. On the contrary, Carlisle’s accidents tend to center around a few highways and roads in and around the city.

Here is a short guide to the most dangerous roads and intersections in Carlisle, PA, and tips on how you can navigate them safely.

Accident Statistics in Carlisle, PA [2021 UPDATE]

Accidents in Carlisle, PA

In 2020, Cumberland County had 2,029 traffic accidents. Of these, 1,174 caused property damage only. Another 841 accidents caused injuries and 14 accidents caused at least one death.

Cumberland County’s traffic accidents dropped significantly due to pandemic restrictions in 2020. Cumberland County also saw a 17.6% drop in fatal car accidents.

Last year, Carlisle had nearly 200 traffic accidents. These accidents caused one fatality, five serious injuries, and over 50 minor injuries. These accidents clustered on five roads and one intersection.

Most Dangerous Roads in Carlisle, PA

The most dangerous roads in Carlisle, PA are also its busiest. In Pennsylvania, the top three causes of traffic accidents include speeding, distracted driving, and improper turning. These three driving errors account for about two-thirds of all traffic accidents.

Crowded roads amplify these driver errors. Speeding and distracted driving cut down the time drivers have to react. Crowded roads also make it more difficult to turn across or into traffic.

The most dangerous roads in Carlisle, PA include major highways where speeding, distracted driving, and turning can pose a serious risk to all road users including motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists.


Only a small segment of I-81 passes through the Carlisle city limits. The mile-and-a-half stretch surrounding the Hanover Street exit falls within the city. The rest falls outside of the city, even though four exits from I-81 lead into Carlisle.

As it passes through Carlisle, I-81 is a four-lane divided highway with a posted speed limit of 55 miles per hour. On this short segment of I-81, seven motorists have died since 2005. The worst accident on I-81 in the past 15 years involved three vehicles and killed all three drivers.

Outside of the city limits, I-81 is one of Pennsylvania’s deadliest roads. Between the interchange with US-11 and the exit at Allen Road, 20 people have died on I-81 since 2005.


US-11 takes an unusual route through Carlisle. From the west, it enters the city as Ritner Highway. Within the city limits, it becomes High Street. It then turns north as Hanover Street.

Along the Ritner Highway section, US-11 was the site of 12 accidents in 2020. One of those caused serious injuries.

The section running through the city fared much worse. Along the High Street section, US-11 had 17 traffic accidents.

The last section along Hanover Street also had 17 traffic accidents in 2020. These accidents caused one serious injury and several minor injuries.

In total, US-11 was the site of 46 traffic accidents in 2020. These accidents caused two serious injuries and over a dozen minor injuries.


PA-641 also has several different names as it passes through Carlisle. To the west, PA-641 is called Newville Road. From Orange Street to Hanover Street, PA-641 sits on top of US-11/High Street. East of Hanover Street, PA-641 follows High Street.

As discussed above, the section that coincides with US-11/High Street saw 17 traffic accidents in 2020. The western section called Newville Road had one accident in 2020. The section east of Hanover Street had eight accidents in 2020. 

From end to end, PA-641 had 26 traffic accidents in 2020, with three serious injuries and over ten minor injuries.

Just outside of the Carlisle city limits, PA-641 saw six more traffic accidents. These accidents happened just as the highway approaches the city where the speed limit drops.


West of the city, PA-74 is called Waggoner’s Gap Road. The route shifts to B Street then follows College Street to High Street. From College Street to York Road, PA-74 follows US-11/PA-641/High Street. At York Road, it runs southeast from the city.

On the York Road section, PA-74 saw nine car accidents in 2020 within the city limits. York Road had another thirteen car accidents between the city limits and I-81. Two of these car accidents caused serious injuries.

In the section along High Street, PA-74 had 21 traffic accidents. This includes 16 traffic accidents in the section of High Street where PA-74 overlaps US-11. On the College Street and B Street section, PA-74 was the site of six more accidents in 2020.

This means that from the city limits in the northwest to I-81 in the southeast, PA-74 had 49 accidents in 2020.

Hanover Street/PA-34

Hanover Street provides a major north-south route through the heart of Carlisle. For the section running north from High Street to the city limits, Hanover Street overlaps US-11. The section running south from High Street runs to I-81.

Within the city limits, Hanover Street saw 33 traffic accidents in 2020, including one death, one serious injury, and nearly 20 minor injuries. 

As it runs through the city, Hanover Street is a four-lane undivided road. The posted speed limit in the city is 25 miles per hour. Despite the low speed limit, crowding and speeding can lead to traffic accidents, including pedestrian accidents.

Most Dangerous Intersection in Carlisle, PA

The most dangerous intersection in Carlisle is High Street and Hanover Street. According to local news reports, this intersection has seen 23 traffic accidents in the past five years, including five involving pedestrians and bicyclists.

This intersection brings together Carlisle’s two busiest roads. Since it lies in the heart of the city, this intersection also gets a lot of pedestrian traffic. The combination of congestion, speed, and pedestrians has led to one serious injury and over ten minor injuries.

Navigating the Most Dangerous Roads and Intersections in Carlisle, PA

Carlisle has a good safety record because it has low speed limits. Residents also have one of the highest seatbelt usage rates in Pennsylvania at 90%. 

If you slow down and wear your seatbelt, you might avoid becoming one of the casualties of Carlisle’s most dangerous roads and intersections.To discuss your accident on the roads and intersections of Carlisle, PA, contact Marzzacco Niven & Associates at (717) 995-8732 for a free consultation.