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Transportation Final 10-15-09 -   1.2 - Serious Injuries State Routes

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Transportation Final 10-15-09
1. Safety
2. Preservation
3. Mobility
4. Environment
5. Stewardship
Current Conditions
6. Economic Recovery

1.2 Serious Injuries State Routes

Are serious injuries on stateĀ routesĀ and interstates decreasing?

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Data Notes
Data Source: WSDOT Transportation Data Office. Data as of 8/31/09. Data for 2008 is preliminary. Therefore the number of serious injuries in 2008 is expected to increase as more information becomes available.
Measure Definition:

Serious Injury: Any injury, other than a fatal injury, which prevents the injured person from walking, driving, or continuing normal activities at the time of the collision. Includes: Severe Lacerations; Broken or distorted limbs; Skull or chest injuries; Abdominal Injuries; Unconsciousness at or when taken from accident scene; Unable to leave accident scene without assistance.

Target Rationale: Washington's 2007 Strategic Highway Safety Plan, Target Zero, set aggressive goals and objectives, identified traffic safety needs, and provided an inventory of proven, effective strategies to meet them.
Link to Agency Strategic Plan: Washington State's Strategic Highway Safety  Plan, Target Zero, seeks to eliminate traffic fatalities on all public roads by 2030.
Relevance: Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of unintentional death among Washington residents ages one to 44. Nonfatal injury hospitalizations resulting from motor vehicle collisions are five times more common than fatalities and may result in lifetime disability (WA DOH). In 2005, the economic cost of motor vehicle collisions in Washington State totaled $5.6 billion (WSDOT).

Notes: (optional)


Also Available
Action Plan: Yes
Extended Analysis: Yes

 Summary Analysis

All serious injuries on state routes and interstates declined from 1,282 in 2002 to 1,016 in 2008 -- a drop of 21%.

A slightly higher number of serious injuries occurred on state routes and interstates in the first five months of 2009 compared to 2008. Preliminary WSDOT collision data as of August 31, 2009 shows that 379 state highway serious injuries occurred through May 31 in 2009, compared to 370 at the same time point in 2008 and 383 at the same time point in 2007.

The number of serious injuries involving speed* on state routes and interstates decreased in 2008 to 310, down from 338 in 2007 and 352 in 2006, and down from 443 in 2002 (30%).

The number of serious injuries involving alcohol and/or drug impairment* on state routes and interstates decreased in 2008 to 200, down from 263 in 2007 and from 236 in 2006.

Serious injuries and fatalities on rural two lane state highways increased 14% (37) from 2005 to 2007 (see extended analysis)

Vehicle Travel: Some of our serious injury drop in 2008 is clearly due to a reduction in highway-related vehicle travel.  According to the WSDOT, state highway miles traveled in 2008 decreased by 3.8% compared to 2007.  During the same period, however, highway-related serious injuries dropped by 9.2%, from 1,119 in 2007 to 1,016 in 2008.

* Based on Motor Vehicle Driver Contributing Circumstances

Law Enforcement

Regional Variation:  While the number of fatal and injury collisions dropped on state routes and interstates as a whole, the WSP District Areas did not necessarily experience uniform decreases by month in speed and DUI collisions.  This suggests that there are likely other factors besides declining vehicle volume which contributed to these increases/decreases.