Fact Sheet

New Release: 2020 SafeTREC Traffic Safety Fact Sheets

September 30, 2020

2020 SafeTREC Traffic Safety Fact Sheets feature recent data on some of California's most pressing traffic safety issues to help inform future road safety efforts during the pandemic

2020 SafeTREC Traffic Safety Facts: Drug-Involved Driving

Chen, Katherine L.
Tsai, Bor-Wen
Fortin, Garrett
Cooper, Jill F.
2020

Driving can be impaired by a variety of legal and illegal drugs, substances, and medications. These various substances can impair cognition, attention, coordination, and other brain functions critical to driving safety. Unlike alcohol, the mechanism for absorption, distribution, and elimination of drugs from the body, as well as cognitive and behavioral effects differ greatly.

2020 SafeTREC Traffic Safety Facts: Emergency Medical Services

Chen, Katherine L.
Tsai, Bor-Wen
Fortin, Garrett
Cooper, Jill F.
2020
There are typically many contributing factors in motor vehicle crashes. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) play a critical role post-crash to reduce fatalities and serious injuries. Recent studies show that an effective emergency trauma care system can improve survival from serious injuries by as much as 25 percent and county-level coordinated systems of trauma care can reduce crash fatalities rates as much as 50 percent. 

2020 SafeTREC Traffic Safety Facts: Alcohol-Involved Driving

Chen, Katherine L.
Tsai, Bor-Wen
Fortin, Garrett
Cooper, Jill F.
2020

While alcohol-impaired driving fatalities have fallen significantly in the last three decades, NHTSA reports that alcohol-impaired driving still comprises a large percentage of traffic injuries and fatalities. On average in 2018, one person died from an alcohol impaired driving crash every 50 minutes. There was a decrease in the number of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities and rate per 100 million VMT in the United States between 2017 and 2018.

2020 SafeTREC Traffic Safety Facts: Aging Road Users

Chen, Katherine L.
Tsai, Bor-Wen
Fortin, Garrett
Cooper, Jill F.
2020

The older adult population in the United States aged 65 and older is expected to almost double between 2016 and 2060, from 49 million to 95 million. In 2018, there were 6,907 people aged 65 or older killed in a traffic crash in the United States; this accounted for 18.9 percent of all traffic fatalities. To provide context, the overall population aged 65 or older accounted for 14.9 percent of people in the United States and 19.4 percent of all licensed drivers in 2017.

2020 SafeTREC Traffic Safety Facts: Speeding-Related Crashes

Chen, Katherine L.
Tsai, Bor-Wen
Fortin, Garrett
Cooper, Jill F.
2020
A speeding-related crash is defined as one where a driver is speeding, racing, driving too fast for the conditions, or driving in excess of the posted speed limit. In the United States, in 2018, over one in four (25.7 percent) fatalities involved speeding, a steady decline from a decade ago. Speeding reduces a driver’s ability to steer safely around curves or objects, reduces the amount of time a driver has to react to a dangerous situation, and extends safe stopping distances.

2020 SafeTREC Traffic Safety Facts: Occupant Protection

Chen, Katherine L.
Tsai, Bor-Wen
Fortin, Garrett
Cooper, Jill F.
2020

Restraint devices such as seat belts are a key element of motor vehicle occupant protection systems. Each year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducts the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS) that measures, among many variables, the use of seat belts by occupants age eight and older. The 2019 NOPUS reported that seat belt use was 90.7 percent among front-seat passengers, a slight increase from the 89.6 percent observed in 2018. Additionally, the 2019 survey found that seat belt use increased during both weekday rush hours and non-rush hours.

2020 SafeTREC Traffic Safety Facts: Bicycle Safety

Chen, Katherine L.
Tsai, Bor-Wen
Fortin, Garrett
Cooper, Jill F.
2020

Bicycling is becoming more popular across the country for commuting, exercise, and leisure. However, in the event of a traffic crash between a motor vehicle and a bicyclist, the bicyclist is the more vulnerable party and more likely to be injured or killed than a motor vehicle occupant. In 2018, there were 857 bicyclists killed in a traffic crash in the United States.

2020 SafeTREC Traffic Safety Facts: Pedestrian Safety

Chen, Katherine L.
Tsai, Bor-Wen
Fortin, Garrett
Cooper, Jill F.
2020

Everyone is a pedestrian, whether or not walking is one’s primary mode of travel. As a commute mode, walking is gaining in numbers. In its 2020 report, “Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State, 2019 Preliminary Data” the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reports that pedestrian fatalities in the nation have increased disproportionately to other traffic deaths. Pedestrian fatalities as a proportion of total motor vehicle deaths increased from 12 percent in 2009 to 17 percent in 2018.

2020 SafeTREC Traffic Safety Facts: Motorcycle Safety

Chen, Katherine L.
Tsai, Bor-Wen
Fortin, Garrett
Cooper, Jill F.
2020

Crashes involving motorcycles are a major traffic safety concern in the United States. Since motorcycle riders are susceptible to injury during crashes, they comprise a disproportionate share of all injured and killed vehicle occupants. In 2017, motorcycle riders were 27 times more likely than passenger car occupants to be fatally injured in a traffic crash, per vehicle miles traveled.