Reduce Crash Fatalities in Indiana by 50 Percent?
Recently Indiana released their Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Highway Safety Plan, prepared by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI). The Traffic Safety Division (TSD) of the ICJI is responsible for managing the federal funds that support the state programs focused on decreasing Indiana’s traffic injuries and deaths.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has a stated goal of cutting U.S. traffic fatalities in half from 2007 levels by 2027. The ICJI wants to achieve Indiana’s portion of this goal. They’ve announced their intent to decrease Indiana’s traffic deaths by around 20 per year, ending at 496 fatalities in 2027.
2018 is approximately the halfway point between 2007 and 2027, so we took a look at the ICJI’s FY 2018 Highway Safety Plan to assess Indiana’s progress toward its stated goal. Unfortunately, the mid-term grade shows that Indiana is failing. At the halfway point, you might expect the number of traffic deaths to have been reduced by 25 percent or close to it. The traffic fatality numbers as recorded by our national Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) tell the story:
- 2007: 898 deaths
- 2008: 820 deaths
- 2009: 693 deaths
- 2010: 754 deaths
- 2011: 751 deaths
- 2012: 781 deaths
- 2013: 784 deaths
- 2014: 745 deaths
- 2015: 821 deaths
- 2016: 821 deaths
- 2017: 841 deaths (estimate).
Indiana traffic fatalities in 2017 are only slightly lower than they were in 2007. They have not dropped by even 7 percent during that time span, although we made a bit of progress in lowering the number of deaths from 2009 to 2014 before they shot back up.
The number of traffic deaths in 2009, 693, amounted to almost a 26 percent drop. If we could achieve a fatality figure of 698 for 2018, we would be close to on target. Unfortunately, such a fatality figure is not likely; FARS estimates that Indiana’s 2018 fatalities will total 846.
Other metrics shed light as well. Page 18 of the Plan reports that traffic fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (MVMT) dropped from 2009 through 2015 by 2 percent for urban areas, but jumped 16 percent in rural areas. In total, deaths per 100 MVMT have increased 11 percent, even though the actual number of deaths has dropped slightly.
Traffic fatalities are certainly not moving in the right direction, and the possibility of hitting the stated goal of 496 deaths annually by 2027 does not appear likely at this time. We find this news sad and disappointing. While all of the causes for this state of affairs remain unknown, one of the reasons does not appear to be a lack of traffic tickets issued. The number of tickets issued has steadily risen to approximately 9.4 million over a recent 12-month time span (3/31/2016 to 3/31/2017).
Other notable statistics culled from the studied time periods and released in the Plan include the following:
- Just 17 of Indiana’s 92 counties accounted for slightly more than half (50.9 percent) of the state’s traffic deaths.
- 67 percent of crash fatalities were males.
- 7 percent of traffic deaths occurred among persons aged 17 to 27, which is the largest segment of traffic deaths for any 10-year age range.
- Just three collision factors caused 45 percent of all fatal crashes: failure to yield, driving left of the center line, and running off the road.
- The biggest segment—27.4 percent—of fatal crashes took place between 6:00 and 10:59 p.m.
Hand the worry over to us and let our resources back you up.
If you or a family member has suffered injuries in a motor vehicle crash caused by another’s negligence, you know all too well the worries and bills that result. When you consider hiring an Indiana personal injury lawyer, we suggest you look for an attorney who will provide you with competent and compassionate representation, using an approach that always puts you first. That’s exactly what you’ll get with proven advocate attorneys Mike Stephenson and Brady Rife. The entire legal team at McNeely Stephenson is committed to doing whatever is necessary to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. Don’t lose the opportunity to obtain the money you need to put your life back on track and to make your family’s future financially secure. Call Mike or Brady today for a free initial consultation. If you prefer, use our online contact form.