Thursday, February 05, 2009

More than 1/4 of all traffic fatalities in NJ were bikes & peds!

Thats right!

Nearly 27% of all traffic fatalities in New Jersey for 2008 were pedestrians and bicyclists.

This was not easy to cobble together since I came across the numbers to put this together from 3 different news sources, so I will apologize in advance if I'm not 100% correct.

Okay, on Dec 17th 2008, The Daily Record reported (using NJ Division of Highway Traffic Safety numbers) that as of Dec 14th there were 22 bicycle fatalities. This number was nearly double from the 12 fatalities in 2007 and also in 2006. Afterwards there were no known reported bicycle crash fatalities as covered in the NJ Bike/Ped News Digest.

On Jan 31st 2009, Today's Sunbeam of Salem County ran a traffic safety article about driving and the Super Bowl. In that article (again using NJ Division of Highway Traffic Safety numbers) it said that 594 individuals lost their lives in "traffic crashes" and 137 of those were pedestrians.

An earlier story from The Press of Atlantic City, touting the remarkable 17% reduction in total traffic fatalities said that the number was a little higher at 597 (State Police statistics). In this story they tout the nearly 2 Billion (yes with a "B") fewer vehicle miles driven in the state as the primary reason for the reduction.

So lets do the math (I will use NJ Highway Traffic Safety numbers for consistency).

22 bicyclists + 137 pedestrians = 159 total active transport fatalities.

159 total active transport fatalities / 594 total fatalities = 26.8%

I would have liked to have done a trend analysis with numbers over the past 5 or 10 years but fatality and nonfatal crash stats (overall, pedestrian, bicycle) were not easy if impossible to find directly online (it would be nice to have those numbers readily accessible online for all to see).

I could comment some more but I just let that fact that 27% of all traffic fatalities New Jersey were bicyclists and pedestrians speak for itself (I wonder if that also includes pedestrians killed by trains). I also wonder if 27% of highway traffic safety funds will go to bike / ped improvements and programs this year.

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