Percent of Fatality Studies Conducted at Each Fatal Crash Occurrence

Measure Description
This measure reflects the percent of traffic fatality studies completed as compared to the number of fatal accidents identified. The Austin Transportation Department (ATD) carries out a thorough engineering investigation of each fatal crash to determine if there are any deficiencies in the roadway infrastructure that may have been a contributing factor to the crash. The availability of crash data lags the actual occurrence of the incident, so completion of this key performance indicator often occurs after the end of the year in which the incident occurred. Some data, critical to the analysis of individual incidents can take up to 12 weeks to be made available to ATD staff for analysis. Attainment of this goal routinely occurs after the end of the fiscal year reporting deadline when ATD receives full data disclosures on all traffic fatalities.
Calculation Method
This measure is the total percentage of traffic fatality studies performed by ATD during the fiscal year as compared to the anticipated and actual number of fatal incidents occurring in any given year.
FY 2014-15 Results
ATD completed fatality studies for 100% of the 89 fatal crash occurrences during FY 2014-15.
Assessment of Results
Of the fatal crashes investigated in FY 2014-15, none were found to have engineering deficiencies as a causal factor, thus no specific engineering improvements were recommended to reduce overall crash risk. If any deficiencies are found, action is taken to correct those deficiencies, which could include additional traffic signs, changes to markings, changes in traffic signal timing, and additional street lighting.
This is the first year that ATD is tracking this measure, and therefore, prior year data is not available. ATD achieved its goal of analyzing all fatal crashes in FY 2014-15 prior to the end of the fiscal year. As in previous years, many of the fatality crashes were attributable to impaired driving or inappropriate speed. Austin has not been immune to the factors causing a national rise in traffic fatalities (speed, alcohol, distracted driving, and increase in vehicle-mile traveled from more population and changing driving characteristics).
Road blocked off by construction signs
Next Steps
ATD will continue to conduct fatality studies for all fatal crashes and take appropriate action to remedy deficiencies, if any are found. We continue to work with APD to secure the data necessary to evaluate the remaining fatal incidents requiring analysis.
In FY 2015-16, ATD launched its Safety Improvement Program, which takes a focused approach in identifying locations with high number of casualty crashes (fatalities and injuries) and high crash rates. ATD staff and funding were dedicated to identify engineering solutions that could address safety concerns at five locations in the City of Austin. Analysis, design, and construction are anticipated at these five locations during 2016. The Safety Improvement Program is anticipated as an annual effort to improve safety of the transportation system for all users. Through dedicated staff and funding, ATD will enter into a new emphasis of improved safety that was not present in previous years.
Contact Information
For more information contact Robert Spillar, Director, at (512) 974-2488.