Tag Archives: crash facts

tag for ADOT Crash Facts, and NHTSA’s Traffic Safety Facts

Total VMT and fatalities are up


[mid/late 2016 NSC estimates for fatalities are up big-time over 2015]

As a follow on to last week’s story about how Arizona 2015 traffic fatalities are up by at least 15% …

Preliminary data prepared by the NSC shows traffic fatalities nationally are expected to be up 10% (though an AP story says 8%) . And FHWA preliminary data shows total VMT (Vehicle Miles Traveled) will increase to 3.1T miles, compared with 3T in 2014; (so perhaps a 3.5% increase). Continue reading Total VMT and fatalities are up

Arizona Motor Vehicle Fatalities increase in 2015

Preliminary data from ADOT shows a notable increase in traffic fatalities in 2015. At present the preliminary toll is 891 for 2015 — but is expected to rise as final reports trickle in — compared to 773 deaths in 2014. That would be a 15% increase.

There is no, not even a preliminary, breakdown by person type (driver, pedestrian, bicyclist, etc)… which seems odd. VERY preliminary bicyclist traffic fatality data for 2015 can be found at fatality-grid; but those numbers (presently 18 bicyclists) are guaranteed to be low because ADOT hoards the data for themselves, so it’s just whatever I came across in newspapers and word-of-mouth.

Also see report-phx-metro-freeway-crashes-dramatically-increase-in-2015 from a couple of weeks ago ; which noted that the number of crashes on Maricopa county freeways had increase even more dramatically, 23%, year-over-year.

Continue reading Arizona Motor Vehicle Fatalities increase in 2015

Report: Phx metro freeway crashes dramatically increase in 2015

The headline is the paper reads Report: DPS, ADOT clearing crashes faster on Maricopa County freeways but a factiod reveals later in the article should have been noted, my emphasis “Despite a 23 percent increase in freeway crashes“. This is a huge year-over-year increase. Why? If you read the actual press releases, it mentions the period is the first nine months of 2014 vs. 2015. yikes.

Continue reading Report: Phx metro freeway crashes dramatically increase in 2015

Arizona Crash Facts 2013

[ update early 2015; There are two discrepencies compared to the Crash Facts (which is still reporting 30 bicyclist fatalities at the time of this writing in Feb 2015); This will probably not be reconciled until the final FARS for 2013 is released, typically in very late 2015.  I have noted them both on the 2013 fatality grid (follow for links to news reports).  Both occurred in Lake Havasu City; which is a very peculiar. The first “missing” fatal occurred on 3/6/2013 and is present in FARS, but not asdm. This may be related to a 3/11 fatality, also in Lake Havasu City which is in both FARS and asdm.

I found a second discrepancy while googling around to find info about the 3/6/2013 fatal; so according to that there was a bicyclist fatality in the wee hours of 7/29/2013 involving a dui motorist. there’s all sorts of news coverage, the victim’s mother is on LHC city council. The driver quickly plead guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced. THIS IS NOT IN EITHER THE ASDM OR FARS!?

Also note that as of the time of this writing (early 2015) the so-called “final” FARS for 2013 hasn’t been released yet — it normally comes out in December (of 2015, for 2013). And I only have visibility into the asdm data that adot puts out on a dvd issued in June (of 2014 for the year 2013 crashes)]

Adot has released Crash Facts 2013 in early June, as usual/expected. The graphical crash map has been updated. The overall figures were relatively flat, the overall numbers of MV crashes of all types (all figures are year-over-year; 2012 vs. 2013):

  • number of MV crashes: 103,909 vs. 107,348 up 3.31%
  • all Fatalities: 821 vs.  844. up 2.80%
  • Total Injuries: 50,051 vs. 50,284 almost flat at up 0.47%

The two most closely-watched traffic safety metrics, the number of fatalities per 100M Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT), and per 100K population are not yet available but will remain ~ 20% worse for Arizonans than for the US overall.

The results for cyclists were somewhat mixed —

  • the number of bike-MV crashes:  2,149 vs. 2,039. down 5%
  • number of cyclists injured: 1,766 vs. 1,679 down 5%
  • The number of fatalities at 30 was far higher than the last year’s 18 — the average yearly toll has been about 24; 30 is atypically high and 18 was atypically low. Fatalities, being relatively rare, have quite wide variation, making it hard to discern trends. For example in the most recent 10 year period there have been as many as 36 (in 2005) and as few as 18 (last year).

Longer term trends

I have a spreadsheet that tracks  # of cyclist injuries and fatalities for 2001-2013. The number of cyclists injured this past year, 1,679, is almost exactly at the 13-year average of 1,655; and hasn’t much varied in 13 years. We still have no good exposure data; though we can say in that time, the population of AZ has grown 24% and driving has increased 19%.  AzStats.xls (current as of 2014 data) or on google drive (the google drive version is quite possibly out of date).

Every Bicyclist Counts

I have been critical of the way the data from a recent LAB report, Every Bicyclist Counts, has been used. There is one issue, however where I am in complete agreement with LAB. The EBC used media reports and word-of-mouth to compile a list — much the same way as I do for Arizona; as of today, I am only aware of 12 Arizona bicyclist fatalities for 2013; but I now know there have been 30, so the majority are “missing”(!).  You can view the list of Arizona cyclists killed since 2009 at that same link — if you have any further information; please pass it along.  For years before 2013 the list is complete; but some victims are just placeholders, known to me only because of the crash databases.

Why are there such large gaps in media coverage?


The Arizona/Adot Safety Data Mart database (which is what i call it; i’m not sure if the CD adot sells for $15+2 is identical to that or not, but it is apparently pretty close). The CD became available mid-June on schedule and is all loaded up.

Below are some queries that match exactly “Crash Facts” for cyclists crashes/people injured, e.g. in 2013 (see chart on p.41).
Note that injury=2,3 or 4 counts Possible Injury, Injury, and incapacitating injury. The other choices are 1=No injury, 5=fatality, and (in the person table only) 99=Unknown, and somehow the unknowns always end up being no injury according to the incident table. (On spreadsheet AZstats.xls there’s a worksheet from Mike S that tallies numbers for cyclists and peds back to 2001). To count number of cyclist crashes and people, respectively:

SELECT eInjurySeverity,count(1) FROM 2013_incident i WHERE EXISTS (SELECT 1 FROM 2013_person p WHERE p.IncidentID=i.IncidentID AND p.ePersonType IN ('PEDALCYCLIST')) GROUP BY 1 ;

SELECT eInjuryStatus, count(1) from 2013_person where PersonType=3 group by 1;

Results for 2013: 2039, and 2071

To count number cyclist crashes w/injury, and number of injured cyclists:

SELECT count(1) FROM 2013_incident i WHERE EXISTS (SELECT 1 FROM 2013_person p WHERE p.IncidentID=i.IncidentID AND p.ePersonType IN ('PEDALCYCLIST')) AND InjurySeverity IN (2,3,4);
SELECT count(*) from 2013_person where ePersonType LIKE 'PEDAL%' AND InjuryStatus IN (2,3,4) ;

results for 2013: 1669 and 1679

Brief Remarks on 2014 Crash Facts

From Page 1 of 2014 Crash Facts; of the 884 total persons killed in Arizona traffic crashes:

  • Motorists: 589 (= 425 drivers + 164 passengers)
  • Pedestrians: 157
  • Pedalcyclists: 28


Arizona Road Deaths Increase — 2011 data

ADOT recently released 2011 Crash Facts.

In summary: The overall traffic death toll bounced up after several years of significant declines. The number of fatalities is up 9% year-over-year, despite a 3% decrease in the number of crashes.

Year over year: ped injuries and fatalites were nearly flat; bicyclist injuries were also nearly identical. There were 23 cyclists killed in 2011 (versus 19 in 2010)

Here’s a news piece: azcentral.com/news/articles/20120816arizona-road-deaths-increase It has a graph of fatals per 100million VMT which appears to be drawn wrong; for example line chart shows Arizona’s virtually on top of the overall-US figure for 2009, and 2010 but that’s not correct; although in recent years Arizona has been closing the gap, it remains markedly higher than overall-US:

2009: 1.14 vs. 1.31

2010: 1.11 vs. 1.27

It’s a pretty small graph but it’s clearly not right — the Arizona Line is drawn incorrectly for those two years.



Final 2010 U.S. Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities released

Final 2010 figures

…released 12/8/2011;  fastlane.dot.gov, at 32,885 the number is slightly higher than the early estimates which come out in the spring.

The 2010 dataset is not yet available in FARS, which is a little strange given that last year’s data was released in September (i.e. 2009 dataset available September 2010). update: the 2010 FARS data came up sometime in early December.

Final Arizona 2010 figures were released in August.

NHTSA’s Traffic Safety Facts 2010 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview, DOT HS 811 552

Bicyclist Fatalities

As bikinginla.wordpress.com  points out, 618 cyclist deaths in 2010 makes it the lowest overall figure in some 35 years. The Arizona figure, 19, puts it close to our 10-year average; coming off of a bad 2009 (25).

Ped Problems?

USA Today article: “The USA is getting riskier for people on foot, and experts aren’t sure why.” Mike Sanders noted the ped issue, see comment here on the final Arizona 2010 figures.   Speed matters and need to redefine mobility – “Everyone should be familiar with the chart that shows that a pedestrian hit by a car traveling at 20 miles per hour (mph) has an 85 percent survivability rate. That same collision with a car going twice as fast, 40 mph, will lower the survivability likelihood to 15 percent” (Laplante and McCann, Complete Streets: We Can Get There from Here, ITE journal, May 2008).

An rather than viewing it as a zero-sum game where motorists must lose mobility in order to make streets safer for peds; Beyond Safety in Numbers suggests that the safer streets for peds are quite likely safer streets for motorists as well.

Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities in 2010

The early estimates come out in the spring (late march i think), here was the buzz at that time…

The media is abuzz with projections released a couple of days ago by NHTSA that 2010 traffic fatalities are at there lowest number since the Truman administration, and the closely-watch per VMT figure is the lowest ever recorded. Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities in 2010:

A statistical projection of traffic fatalities in 2010 shows that an estimated 32,788 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes. This represents a decline of about 3 percent as compared to the 33,808 fatalities that occurred in 2009…  The fatality rate for 2010 are projected to decline to the lowest on record, to 1.09 fatalities per 100 million VMT, down from 1.13 fatalities per 100 million VMT in 2009

Here are the Early Estimates for 2009, and 2008. Continue reading Final 2010 U.S. Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities released

ADOT 2010 Crash Facts

ADOT’s 2010 Motor Vehicle Crash Facts has just been released.

Highlights are the total number of fatalities continued to fall; there were a total of 762 persons killed in 2010, a 5% decrease from the year before.

There were 19 bicyclists killed on Arizona’s road in collisions with motor vehicles in 2010, which compares favorably with the 25 killed in 2009. That means there are two (possibly three) missing from this tally for 2010.

The MOST COMMON DRIVER VIOLATION is (remains) Speed too fast for condition

There were 106,177 crashes in total, of which 1,914 were bike-MV crashes.

Dangerous by Design

[updated regularly; the one release in May 2014 can be found at smartgrowthamerica.org I don’t think anything much has changed Phoenix and Arizona still rank “high” (bad) ][direct download of 2016 edition]

While we’re on the subject, t4america.org released the latest version of their recurring report Dangerous By Design 2011; where metro-Phoenix has a recurring, starring role as a particularly dangerous place for pedestrians — the 8th worst rate in the US. The only places significantly higher are basically several (!) metro areas in Florida.

Bad for pedestrians tends to translate into bad for motorists and bicyclists, as well — in other words, we’re all in this together.  Arizona’s motorist fatality “VMT rate  is over twice as deadly as Massachusett’s. The disparity in per capita rate, since Arizonans drive more miles, is even worse…. more

But you are not likely to hear anything about how or if or why Arizona isn’t closing the gap; or even that a gap exists! — rather that deaths overall have merely fallen. Here is a typical new-release-style story: azfamily.com story

Back to the DbyD report, they have this concept called PDI, the Pedestrian Danger Index; Phoenix-metro at 132 is many times worse than, for example, Boston-metro at 21.6.

And just to throw out a factoid, for the year 2009 (the most recent year for which detailed stats are available) there were more bicyclists killed within the City of Phoenix (9) than were killed in the entire state of Massachusetts(6).

The population of Phoenix is 1.5M versus State of Massachusetts having 6.5M…. The C.O.P., accused rightly as being an enormous-sprawling place covers 516 square miles, the state of Massachusetts 7,840 square miles of land area.

John Allen’s blog reflecting upon the fact that in the DbyD report, the Boston-metro area came in dead last (SAFEST!) of all large metro areas in US — “Strange, isn’t it — the Boston area has repeatedly been derogated as supposedly having the nation’s craziest drivers”.

Arizona’s Rural Highway Traffic Safety Problem

A couple of days after the data was released, and somewhat to my chagrin, the arizonarepublic/news/articles/2011/09/02/20110902arizona-deadly-rural-roads.html did a fairly long and detailed piece on what ADOT is doing to identify and address rural highway problems… though, interestingly, the latest Crash Facts shows a steeper decline in rural as opposed to urban fatalities.

So far, no one that I know of, has said or suggested that Arizona’s high rate of rural fatalities is what accounts for Arizona’s overall high traffic fatality rate. Perhaps that is so?

As mentioned in the article, rural fatal crashes tend to be single-vehicle — though that is a little misleading because a bike-MV, or ped-MV crash is defined as a single-vehicle.

Here are the number of fatal crashes split by urban/rural for 2009 and 2010:

Peds fatal crashes, total/urban/rural: 156 / 102 / 54 ( 2009: 121 / 77 / 44)

cyclists killed, total/urban/rural:         19 / 17/ 2 ( 2009: 25 / 17 / 8 )

(all inclusive) Number of fatal crashes, total / urban / rural: 698 / 354 / 344 (2009: 709 / 299/ 410)

Here is some discussion of the 2010 National results: early-estimate-of-motor-vehicle-traffic-fatalities%C2%A0in%C2%A02010/