The National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR) and the Vision Zero Network launched an interactive map that showcases speeding fatalities that occurred in the United States between 2016 and 2018.
The fatalities are mapped to the city and state that each incident occurred. By zooming in and out with your mouse, viewers have the opportunity to look all the way down to the actual street where someone’s life was taken due to an excessive speed-related collision.
The map, which features data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), was designed as a key component of NCSR’s and VisionZero Network’s efforts to highlight the dangers of speed fatalities.
NOTE: these figures represent numbers of speed-related fatal crashes, not rates.
The Path to Safer Streets
Speed is a factor in nearly one-third of all traffic deaths in the United States. From 2012 to 2016, 48,581 American lives were lost in crashes related to excessive speed. To reach Vision Zero’s goal of eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries, we must prioritize safety over speed to ensure that every one of us can move about our communities safely.
Traffic crashes are one of the leading causes of preventable death in the U.S. In 2016, 37,461 people died in traffic crashes, an increase of 5.6% over the prior year.
To stop these deaths, communities must prioritize speed management in their suite of policy and design efforts to save lives. Many communities are taking action to recalibrate speeds to safer levels, particularly in dense, multi-modal areas.
Communities CAN choose safety. The chances of a person walking surviving a collision with an automobile decrease sharply as speeds approach and exceed 30 mph. For that reason, cities are pursuing physical, legal, and cultural strategies to reduce maximums to 25 mph or less in areas where people on foot and on bikes frequently share space with cars.
The effective strategies at the local level fall into three categories:
(1) Designing and retrofitting roadways to encourage safe behavior and prioritize the preservation of human life. Changing the way streets work isn’t easy, but it’s by far the most effective way to improve safety and the intuitive usability of the street. Political leadership, community support, and design know-how are all essential to reshaping the built environment to be more forgiving, easy to navigate, and safe for all.
(2) Lowering speed limits to levels where the consequence of crashes is less likely to be fatal. The State of Massachusetts & Seattle and other jurisdictions across the country have recently passed resolutions enabling lower speed limits where appropriate.
(3) Using equitably implemented automated safety camera technology to discourage dangerous speeds. Washington DC, NYC and Chicago and other cities all have promising records of saving lives with safety cameras, or automated speed enforcement.