The Office of Traffic Safety compiles data and publishes Collision Rankings that offer insight into traffic safety in specific areas of the state. Cities are compared to other cities of similar size and ranked in categories for different types of accidents. There are two numbers to understand when interpreting the OTS rankings. The second number tells how many cities were included in the group. The first number tells where this particular city ranked in that group. A lower number is a worse rank, as it means there were more injuries or deaths from accidents in that category compared to other cities. A higher number is a better rank. So, in a group of 50 cities, 1/50 would be the worst (most dangerous) and 50/50 would be the best (least dangerous). The most recent data available is for 2016.
If you’re driving often in Fairfield, be careful. The OTS rankings for Fairfield are not reassuring. Fairfield ranked 4/58 for total collisions involving a fatality or injury. There were 1058 victims killed or injured in car accidents in Fairfield in 2016. Another dismal ranking is noted in the motorcycle collisions category. There were 61 accidents involving a motorcycle that led to injury or death in 2016 which led to a 6/58 ranking. The composite ranking, which gives an indication of overall traffic safety in an area, was just 7/58. While the OTS rankings don’t offer causes or reasons for the numbers, it appears that Fairfield drivers need to slow down. Fairfield received a 2/58 ranking for speed-related accidents.
Fairfield’s best rankings are still not all that impressive and only two are in top 50% for the group. There were only three accidents involving pedestrians over age 65 (a ranking of 39/58). There were five collisions involving pedestrians younger than age five for a 27/58 ranking, which puts Fairfield just below the 50% mark in that category. The second best ranking was a 31/58 for accidents involving bicyclists. While the rankings could be worse, there is much room for improvement.
You can’t control other drivers. But you can control yourself. Start by implementing safe driving techniques. Nationwide suggests the most important tips are to focus on driving and drive defensively. Don’t try to multi-task—that text can wait. And give yourself time and space—you won’t save any time if that move ends in a crash. Also, remember that it is better to be safe than prove that you had the right of way. Don’t try to fight for the right of way only to end up in an accident. And, of course, wear your seatbelt to minimize injuries if there is an accident. Insist on passengers in your car wear their seatbelts, too.
If you want to do more, get involved locally. Consider working with community groups and leaders to identify issues and promote safe driving in your city. Work toward a safer environment for everyone.
Even if you drive defensively, wear your seatbelt, and never glance away from the road, you are not accident proof. You cannot always predict other drivers, much less control them. It is best to be prepared for the worst just in case it happens despite your best efforts to avoid it. If you’re in an accident, you will likely be jittery and unlikely to be thinking as clearly as normal. Get your plan in place now so that you are ready if you are involved in an accident at some point.
Do you know what to do if you get in an accident? Many people do not. We don’t want you to be caught off guard. Download the ebook, Five Things You Must Do After a Car Crash, a free resource from Wells, Call, Clark, Bennett & Clawson, personal injury lawyers in your area. We hope you never experience a car crash. But we hope you will use this free resource as a guide to create a plan now in the event of a crash in the future.