City of Austin Performance Report 2015-16

Percentage of Fatality Studies Completed 

Measure Description
This measure reflects the percent of traffic fatality studies completed as compared to the number of fatal crashes reported. 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. Fatality studies also identify and implement improvement(s) that rectify any identified deficiencies in the roadway infrastructure. 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 eight weeks to be made available to ATD staff for analysis.
Calculation Method
This measure is the number of traffic fatality studies performed by ATD during the fiscal year divided by the number of fatal crashes occurring in any given year.
FY 2015-16 Results
ATD completed fatality studies for 100% of fatal crash occurrences during FY 2015-16.
Assessment of Results
ATD achieved 100% of its goal of analyzing all fatal crashes in the FY 2015-16 prior to the end of the fiscal year. Of the 73 fatal crashes investigated in FY 2015-16, 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 were found, actions were taken to correct those deficiencies, which could include additional traffic signs, changes to markings, changes traffic signal timing and/or phasing, and additional street lighting. As in the previous year, many of the fatality crashes were attributable to impaired driving or inappropriate speed. Fatal crashes are attributable to a variety of causes which have their basis in an inappropriate decision being made either by the victim or the operator of the involved vehicle.
Next Steps
ATD will continue to conduct fatality studies for all fatal crashes, and take appropriate action to remedy deficiencies, if any are identified. We continue to work with the Austin Police Department to secure the data necessary to evaluate the remaining fatal incidents requiring analysis. In FY 2015-16, City Council adopted the Vision Zero Action Plan with a view to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2025. Since the adoption of the Vision Zero Action Plan, ATD has launched its Safety Improvement Program, which takes a focused approach in identifying locations with a high number of casualty crashes (fatalities and injuries) and high crash rates. ATD staff and funding were dedicated to identify and implement engineering solutions that could address safety concerns at five high priority locations in the city of Austin. Analysis, design, and construction have been completed or are being completed at these five locations. The Safety Improvement Program is anticipated as an annual effort to improve safety of the transportation system for all road users.
Contact Information
For more information contact Robert Spillar, Director, at (512) 974-2488.