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Transportation Final 4-15-10 -   A - Fatalities On All Washington Roads

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Transportation Final 4-15-10
1. Safety
2. Preservation
3. Mobility
4. Environment
5. Stewardship
6. Economic Recovery
7. Reform
Current Conditions
Action Plan

A - Fatalities On All Washington Roads

Are traffic fatalities on Washington roads decreasing?

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DataSource: Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) located at the WTSC. Fatalities recorded in FARS as of 3/1/2010.





* Fatalities in 2009 are preliminary and subject to change as more information becomes available.

A traffic fatality in FARS is someone who dies within 30 days of a crash as a result of injuries sustained in that crash, which must involve at least one motor vehicle on a trafficway customarily open to the public. FARS records information on over 100 different coded data elements that characterize the crash, the vehicle, and the people involved. The Washington State FARS team consists of two analysts located at the WTSC.

Extended Analysis: Yes
Action Plan: Yes

 Summary Analysis

  • Washington's 2008 traffic fatality rate was 0.94 fatalities per 100 million vehicle-miles traveled--our state's lowest ever until 2009, which is likely to be around 0.87 because all-road fatalities in 2009 stand at 490(as of March 1, 2010)--compared to 518 at the same time point in 2008, and 564 at the same point in 2007.  
  • Travel: Travel mileage for 2009 is not yet available, but monthly travel reports from the WSDOT suggest that VMT in 2009 will be approximately the same or slightly higher as in 2008.  Thus, Washington's all-road fatality rate is likely to be lower in 2009 than 2008's 0.94 -- probably about 0.87 fatalities per 100 million vehicle-miles traveled.
  • Enforcement: The top-three enforcement priorities of Washington's state and local law enforcement community remain impaired driving, speeding, and occupant protection.  Recent declines in impaired driver-involved, speeding driver-involved and unrestrained vehicle occupant fatalities continued in 2008.  Impaired driver-involved fatalities dropped by 4.4% (from 251 in 2008 to 240 in 2009), and speeding driver-involved fatalities dropped by 4.7% (from 213 in 2008 to 203 in 2009).  However, the number of unrestrained passenger vehicle occupant fatalities increased by 0.8% (from 127 in 2008 to 128 in 2009).
  • Highway Safety Projects: Centerline rumble strips and cable median barriers reduced high severity crossover collisions. In locations where centerline rumble strips were installed from 2002 to 2008, WSDOT reports a 57% decrease in the rates of serious injury and fatal crossover collisions. Cable median barrier, installed through 2008, reduced the number of fatal and serious injury collisions by 48%.