Despite a big push for improvements, Pennsylvania's roads aren't making the grade for safety, according to a report by the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute.

The same report has much kinder words for New Jersey.

According to fatality rates measured by miles traveled, New Jersey's roads are the fifth safest in the nation, with just under eight deaths per one billion miles driven.

Pennsylvania's roads rank well below that at 34th, with about 13 deaths per one billion miles driven. The national average is just over 10.

"This report isn't much of a surprise to us," said Theresa Podguski, of AAA.

Podguski also said Pennsylvania has more rural roads, which have higher mortality rates than New Jersey, and seat belt use is higher in the Garden State, which has stricter laws.

"We are in the middle of the 100 deadliest days of driving for teens from Memorial Day to Labor Day. We recommend teens buckle up because of that, they do have higher incidents of traffic crashes in general," Podguski warned.

The University of Michigan report did have some good news. The number of traffic deaths has dropped by more than 21 percent in Pennsylvania since 2005 and more than 18 percent in New Jersey.

Of course, where and when you drive may be the biggest factor of all.

"You drive the Schuylkill Expressway it's a whole different story. You drive on [Route} 22 at 5 p.m., not so bad because you can't move," said John McNamara, a Pennsylvania driver.