Number of fatalities and serious injuries on the High-Injury Network
In 2019, Austin Transportation Department (ATD) staff analyzed where the fatal and serious injury crashes were happening most frequently on the City’s non-freeway roadways. ATD developed the High-Injury Network (HIN) out of this analysis, which identifies the ~8% of streets in Austin which represent the locations of ~70% of the serious injury and fatal crashes. The HIN is used by ATD as a data-informed planning tool to identify locations where engineering, education, or enforcement interventions can be prioritized to have the most impact in improving safety at high-crash locations.
Austin experienced a slight increase in serious injury and fatal crashes in 2021 compared to 2020 (~7% increase). However, 2021 is down 20% from the high in 2019 (218 vs. 273) - that is 55 fewer people suffering severe injury or death on the High-Injury Network. With a targeted set of activities under the High-Injury Roadways initiative, ATD staff focused capital and operational resources on the top locations throughout 2020 and 2021. For more detail on the early results of those targeted investments, please see the Vision Zero Analytics paper.
From 2017 through 2019, the number of people killed and seriously injured on the high-injury network averaged 256 people per year. In 2021, that number was 218, a slight increase from the prior year but well below the prior three-year average. The data confirm ATD staff’s belief that focus on these high opportunity roadways can result in positive outcomes.
Note: To see the underlying data for this chart, please select the "View Source Data" link.
Additional Measure Insights
The nature of transportation networks is that anyone may be impacted by a car crash at any time and at any place. In today’s society, many people do not work and live in the same area, with many people traveling over ten miles to get to their workplace on a daily basis. This means that our major arterials across the City, which comprise most of the High-Injury Network, are where we typically see higher speeds and more severe crashes, regardless of how close those are to the homes of the people involved.
We also know that, in Austin, the Black / African American community is overrepresented in severe crashes overall relative to their percentage of the total population. And people aged 20-30 are also overrepresented in car crash statistics. When people cannot get to their destinations safely, it impacts many other areas of their lives, including social and economic aspects. Everyone deserves to be able to get to their destinations safely. Find more data insights at Austin’s Vision Zero Viewer.
Measure Details and Definition
1) Definition: Austin has a goal to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries due to car crashes to zero. The High-Injury Network is a set of streets where, historically, crashes have happened, providing us the best opportunity to make reductions. This measure tracks how our targeted efforts are working over time since the development of the HIN in 2019.
2) Calculation method: In our analysis, we looked at killed or suspected serious injury crashes that occurred on Austin public roadways within the High Injury Network between 01/01/2017 and 12/31/2021. We calculated the percentages as a year-over-year difference.
3) Data Collection Process: The Vision Zero dataset includes reports on fatal or suspected serious injury collisions that occurred within the City of Austin. Crash reports are typically written by public safety officers when there is $1,000 worth of property damage or any level of injury. All crash geographic coordinates are produced by the Texas Department of Transportation, and some may be manually updated by ATD staff based on crash information. ATD’s database is continuously updated, so reports run at different times may produce different results based on different data collection methods, different data sources, and different time frames used. Fatalities are derived from the crash report’s data and may update without notice due to investigation results. Injuries that result in a fatality at a later time may not be reflected in the data.
4) Measure Target Calculation: The data was calculated using the past five years worth of data, from 2017 through 2021. The goal of the Vision Zero program is zero fatalities and serious injuries, and without systemic changes driving down the numbers dramatically, we will note that we are off-track towards the goal of zero.
5) Frequency Measure is Reported: Annually (Calendar Year)
Date page was last updated: May 2022