Vital Signs, the Bay Area’s comprehensive performance monitoring website, has released the latest data for road fatalities and injuries from roadway crashes, with the data showing a sharp upward trend.
There were 455 fatalities and 2,089 injuries from crashes in 2016, representing 43 percent and 25 percent increases from 2010, respectively. As the region’s economy has boomed, the number of fatalities and injuries has grown faster than both vehicle miles traveled and population growth.
“Fortunately, over 90 percent of those crashes resulted in only minor injuries. However, hundreds of lives are tragically lost every year on our region’s highways, arterials and local streets,” the Vital Signs website states. “While vehicle technology advancements should help to reduce the number of fatal collisions in the coming years, enhancing the safety of our existing roads to save more lives remains a key transportation priority.”
The data show that bicyclists and pedestrians are a growing share of fatalities and injuries in the region. Although roads have become increasingly safe for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians account for a disproportionately large share of road fatalities and injuries. While improved vehicle safety technologies have managed to reduce fatalities among vehicle occupants, vulnerable non-motorized travelers have experienced higher fatality levels than in decades past.
A joint project of MTC and the Association of Bay Area Governments, Vital Signs tracks the state of the region via 40 indicators covering transportation, demographics, housing, the economy, the environment and equity. This data-driven website uses interactive visualizations that allow viewers to explore historical trends, examine differences between cities and counties, and even compare the Bay Area with other peer metropolitan areas.
In the coming months, Vital Signs will release additional datasets on a rolling basis. Updates will include the latest data on transit infrastructure, housing production and commuting trends.