Plan’s safety goals to be reached by OKI working with jurisdictions

The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act mandates states establish a performance and outcome-based program for transportation decision making. Targets for five performance measures are required annually: number of fatalities, number of serious injuries, fatality rate, serious injury rate, and number of non-motorized fatalities and serious injuries.

MPOs have 180 days following the establishment and reporting of state targets to decide whether to support each state’s targets or to establish their own. States established performance targets as part of required Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) reporting in August 2019. OKI supports each individual state’s safety performance measure targets; and we plan and program projects to help each state reach their safety performance-measure targets.

1. Number of Fatalities

Motor vehicle crashes resulting in fatalities have declined over the last decade in the U.S. Between 2008 and 2018, the last year annual data is available, fatal crashes dropped from 34,172 in 2008 to 33,654 in 2018.

Crashes are a significant issue for transportation planning due to their impact on the individuals involved, as well as the economic impacts on the entire OKI region. Research into the locations where crashes are occurring at a greater rate than the norm can lead to improvement in safety for the traveling public. Safety data from all three states have been reviewed to prepare for this plan. Moreover, interagency consultation and cooperation result in advancement of projects that address the region’s safety needs.

Despite the reduction in fatal crashes, someone dies every 16 minutes in a motor vehicle accident somewhere in the nation.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

The National Center for Health Statistics has determined that motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of accidental death for persons of every age from five through 24 in 2017

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, WISQARS

One of the primary goals of this plan is to improve travel safety by reducing the risk of crashes that cause death or injuries.

Regional Crash Data

Within the OKI region, more than 66,000 crashes occurred in 2018, ending at least 159 lives and causing more than 13,000 injuries. Available data indicates that fatalities have increased 16.1 percent in the OKI region since 2014. Fatalities during the five-year time period peaked in Hamilton County in 2016 with 62, while one fatality occurred in Dearborn County in 2014.

2. Fatality Rate

Fatality rate is calculated as the number of fatalities per 100 Million vehicle miles traveled (MVMT). This metric provides a more accurate measure of the risk of being in a fatal accident based on the number of miles traveled. In the U.S., the fatality rate per 100 MVMT for all motor vehicle crashes was 1.16 in 2017. That is an increase of 7.4 percent between 2014 and 2017, the last year annual data was available. Source: Traffic Safety Facts Annual Report, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2019

In the OKI region, Butler and Clermont counties in Ohio, all three counties in Kentucky, and Dearborn County in Indiana, all had a fatality rate above 1.0 during at least one year, between 2014 and 2018. Over the five-year period, the fatality rate for the OKI Region was 0.773, well below each state’s adopted performance safety target.

3. Number of Serious Injuries

Serious injuries are those accidents where at least one individual has been incapacitated in a motor vehicle crash during a calendar year. Within the OKI region, only Boone and Campbell counties in Kentucky and Dearborn County in Indiana saw an increase in serious injuries between 2014 and 2018. The OKI region as a whole experienced a 9.9 percent decline in the number of serious injuries during the same period.

4. Serious Injury Rate

Similar to the fatality rate, serious injuries are measured against 100 MVMT. In the OKI region, the serious injury rate declined in every county, except in Boone, Campbell and Dearborn, between 2014 and 2018. In Warren County, the serious injury rate declined by nearly 50 percent from a high of 7.05 in 2014. As a whole, the OKI region saw an uptick between 2017 and 2018; but over the five-year time period, the serious injury rate declined by nine percent to 6.04 in 2018.

5. Number of Non-Motorized Fatalities and Serious Injuries

This metric includes all non-motorized (bicycle and pedestrian) fatalities and serious injuries involving a motor vehicle during a calendar year. Reported bicycle and pedestrian fatalities in the OKI region have increased each year from 2014 to 2018. Bicycle deaths have averaged fewer than three per year and pedestrian fatalities averaged 46 per year, with a high of 137 in 2018.

Bicycle and pedestrian serious injuries have declined over the five-year time period, peaking at 145 in 2016. The majority of serious injuries have involved pedestrians, averaging 96 per year in the OKI region.

Coordination with Statewide Plans

To reach this plan’s safety goals, OKI will coordinate fully with the individual states and local communities in its planning area. To comply with FAST Act requirements that continue those established in MAP-21, Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana have developed State Highway Safety Plans (SHSP). OKI’s coordination with the region’s three states’ SHSPs is mandated to “include, at a minimum, high-level goals, objectives and strategies that are consistent with those in the SHSP.” Source: Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) Interim Guidance, FHWA Office of Safety, March 14, 2016

OKI is contributing to the fulfillment of each individual state’s safety goals by analyzing crash data on roadways within the agency’s tristate planning area. While state and local governmental agencies are responsible for determining engineering improvements to the roadway system, OKI assists in identifying high-risk locations. These analyses result in the identification of locations where the region’s safety needs are greatest. To conduct this analysis, OKI acquires the individual crash records for the most recent five years that data is available (2014-2018) from each state in the region. Each state gathers different types in different formats which OKI normalizes and combines for analysis.

From 2014 through 2018, OKI staff reviewed state crash data and determined that there were 727 fatal crashes on on-system (interstates, other freeways, arterials and collectors) roadways in the OKI planning area. Beyond the potential individual devastation wrought by crashes, the costs of such incidents impact every person in the OKI region. These costs are felt by an incremental loss in productivity due to non-recurring congestion, actual property damage costs and monetary costs associated with medical expenses, increased insurance premiums, and legal fees. Improving travel safety will have positive impacts for everyone in the OKI region.

In a review of crash data, a crash rate expressed as the number of crashes per 100 MVMT is a more accurate measure of the safety condition of the roadway, than a simple crash tally because it takes into account traffic volume.

Crash rates are used by OKI in its project prioritization process and in identification of dangerous locations to aid state and local agencies in pinpointing transportation needs for further study, and, when possible, finding resources to meet those needs.

Safety Countermeasures for Motorized Vehicles

In September 2017, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) revised their list of research-proven roadway safety countermeasures, first developed in 2008 and updated in 2012. This third generation of countermeasures adds six new safety treatment and strategies to a growing list that now has 20 proven countermeasures that FHWA is advocating for implementation across the country. Source: “Guidance Memorandum on Promoting and Implementing the Updated Proven Safety Countermeasures,” Federal Highway Administration, 2017.

These proven countermeasures include:

  • Roadside design improvements at curves (New)
  • Reduced left-turn conflict intersections (New)
  • Systemic application of multiple low cost countermeasures at stop-controlled intersections (New)
  • Leading pedestrian interval (New)
  • Local road safety plan (New)
  • USLIMITS2 (New)
  • Safety edge
  • Roundabouts
  • Corridor access management
  • Backplates with retroreflective borders
  • Longitudinal rumble strips and stripes on two-lane roads
  • Enhanced delineation and friction for horizontal curves
  • Medians and pedestrian crossing islands in urban and suburban areas
  • Pedestrian hybrid beacon
  • Road diets” (roadway configuration)
  • Median barrier
  • Dedicated left and right-turn lanes at intersections
  • Yellow change intervals
  • Walkways
  • Road safety audit

State departments of transportation are encouraged to incorporate these countermeasures when planning transportation projects.

Safety Countermeasures for Pedestrians and Bicyclists

To improve pedestrian and bicycle safety, the National Highway Safety Administration, in its 2006 Highway Safety Program Guideline No. 14, specifies that the following engineering measures be incorporated into a state’s highway safety program:

  • Pedestrian, bicycle and school bus loading zone signals, signs, and markings
  • Parking regulations
  • Traffic-calming or other approaches for slowing traffic and improving safety
  • On-road facilities (e.g., signed routes, marked lanes, wide curb lanes, paved shoulders)
  • Sidewalk design
  • Pedestrian facilities such as sidewalks, crosswalks, curb ramps, and paths
  • Off-road bicycle facilities (trails and paths)
  • Accommodations for people with disabilities

Older Driver Safety

During the planning period 2015 to 2050, a large safety challenge not seen previously in the OKI region has appeared: the older driver. More than 415,000 people 65 and older are projected to populate the region in 2050, compared with 270,000 in 2015. This group will comprise about one-fifth of the population of driving age in the OKI region.

Nationally and locally, crash data analysis indicates that the older driver is more frequently involved in right angle crashes and in crashes at intersections, when compared to the general motoring population. Drivers 65 and older are also at greater risk for more severe crashes due to bodily frailty.

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