Today we have more access to information and technology than ever before, and this access will only continue to increase. With this in mind, let’s take a look at how information gathering technology is helping to make the road safer from accidents.
One simple tool that improves safety on the road is provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety (http://www.ots.ca.gov). It is a useful tool for learning about collision statistics in specific areas, as well as making comparisons to other areas.
OTS gathers the data using a couple different agencies such as California Highway Patrol (CHP) Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Finance (DOF), compiles it, and then puts it into a simple-to-read chart. This chart includes information on the total number of fatalities and injuries for various collision types, as well as total DUI arrests.
Image credit ( OTS.CA)
Even more useful than these raw numbers from the table are the OTS rankings. The OTS ranking takes areas with similar population size then compares them.
Based on the data provided we can see that Richmond is performing around average for collision safety but, there are some areas that the report highlights as issues.
In 2016, Richmond had a total of 637 fatalities and injuries due to vehicle collisions. This put Richmond at a ranking of 30th out of a total 58 locations. Remember each location has a similar population size and is located in California.
This rank means that roughly 29 other cities of a similar size to Richmond had more fatalities and injuries because of vehicle collisions than Richmond. Although it also shows that 28 cities had lower amounts of vehicle accidents that caused fatalities or injuries.
An example of some of the dangerous statistics is that Richmond had a total of 101 victims killed or injured in 2016 from collisions that had alcohol involved, placing it 6th out of 58 cities.
On the other hand, Richmond ranked 38th out of 58 cities for 129 fatalities or injuries caused by speed-related collisions in 2016.
One of the benefits is that the data starts in 2009, so we can see if these numbers are consistent trends or not. If we go back to 2015, we see that Richmond was ranked 34/57 for alcohol-related fatalities and injuries, and in 2014 was ranked 23/57. Showing that the 2016 statistics are not consistent with previous trends.
This information is used in a lot of ways. Government agencies such as the local police make regulatory changes. They can decide to focus on local needs by changing their patrol activities or create programs for public education. As a practical example, cities may look to see if lower speed limits are necessary or increasing how frequently DUI checkpoints are set up during weekends.
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