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Transportation Final 10-15-11 -   1.1.a - Impaired Driving Fatalities and Serious Injuries

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Transportation Final 10-15-11
1. Safety
2. Preservation
3. Mobility
4. Ferries
5. Stewardship
Action Plan

1.1.a - Number of Traffic Fatalities and Serious Injuries Involving Impaired Driving
What is being done to reduce fatalities and serious injuries involving impaired driving?

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Data Notes

Data Source:

Traffic fatalities recorded in FARS as of 09/27/2011. Serious injuries in WSDOT Collision Database as of 07/18/2011.
Notes: (optional) An impaired driver-involved fatality is a traffic death resulting from a crash involving one or more motor vehicle drivers with a BAC of .08 or higher or a positive drug test result.
Also Available
Action Plan: Yes
Extended Analysis: Yes

 Summary Analysis

Target Zero Teams is a 24-month traffic safety demonstration project being conducted in Snohomish, King and Pierce Counties to reduce impaired driving deaths and serious injuries. This project, funded by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission using Federal Highway Safety dollars, began July 1, 2010 and will run until June 30, 2012. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is funding a formal evaluation of Target Zero Teams project using an independent research firm. Final results are expected 12 to 18 months after the completion of the project.

Outcomes from the first year of the project suggest that Target Zero Teams is contributing to a decrease in traffic deaths in King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties. Analysis of preliminary traffic fatality data from FARS data show

  • The number traffic deaths in Target Zero Teams counties decreased by 29.1% during the first 12 months of the project compared to the previous 5-year average. During this time period in control counties, the number of traffic deaths increased by 0.4% compared to the previous 5-year average.
  • Drinking or drugged driving-involved deaths in Target Zero Teams counties decreased by 38.0% compared to the previous 5-year average. In control counties, drinking or drugged driving-involved deaths increased by 22.3% compared to the previous 5-year average.
  • Speeding-related traffic deaths in Target Zero Teams counties decreased by 44.8% compared to the previous 5-year average. In control counties, speeding-related deaths decreased by 10.4% compared to the previous 5-year average. 

Enforcement:  The Target Zero Teams (TZT) in Snohomish, King, and Pierce counties have been receiving the proactive reports on a regular basis for over six months.  The proactive reports, disseminated every 42 days, include information based upon incidents of possible drunk drivers, injury and fatal collisions, and arrest data.  These reports help WSP TZT Troopers and local law enforcement personnel to deploy in an effective and efficient manner to address impaired fatal collisions.

Each county has site-specific zones based upon the pattern and distribution of impaired fatal collisions over time. These zones were defined in a Baseline Report at the beginning of the project.  Now that WSTC has preliminary 2010 FARS data, the impaired fatal collision zones have been re-evaluated and redesigned.  This re-design process incorporated statistical methodologies that were advancements upon the past techniques, which were base upon density models.  As a result, analysts suggested a slight altering to the past zones to reflect the new “hotspots”.

Through a Federal Recovery Act Competitive Byrne Grant from National Institute of Justice/Bureau of Justice Assistance, WSP will provide data support to tactically monitor changes of impaired driving collisions and related activity (including crime) in predetermined TZT zones based on the density and number of fatal impaired driving collisions during the performance period, to ensure strategic enforcement placement.

Engineering:  See 1.1b