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Numbers Show Traffic Fatalities at 68-year Low

State Office of Traffic Safety releases city-by-city rankings.

The California Office of Traffic Safety updated its Collision Rankings to include 2010 data, the most recent available, and reports say traffic fatalities are the lowest they've been since 1944.

So, it's been 68 years since traffic fatalities have plunged so low, “and that’s with just one-twelfth of the number of people out on the road,” said Chris Cochran, assistant director of marking and public affairs for the safety office.

The dip, he said, can be attributed to seat belts, improved auto design and education.

The collision rankings are calculated with reports from the California Highway Patrol, Caltrans, county coroners, the state departments of finance and justice. The new rankings offer raw numbers and comparative scores, showing how each city compares to others of its size and how counties compare to the state.

Danville falls into Group D: cities with populations between 25,001 and 50,000. There are 93 cities in Group D. A No. 1 ranking represents the worst and a 93 the best.

The data breaks down the rankings between two categories based on rates of fatal and injury collisions per “1,000 daily-vehicle-miles-of-travel" (Caltrans data) and per “1,000 average population" (Department of Finance data) figures.

According to the data, Danville had 61 collisions involving injury or death in 2010 (Danville Police Department Data list only one fatal collisions in 2010), eight of which were alcohol related.

Though 61 injury or fatal collisions may seem high, the report ranks Danville 91 out of 93 based on daily miles traveled and 84 out of 93 in terms of average population. (Keep in mind the higher the number the better the ranking.)

Year

Total fatal and injury Collisions

Ranking by daily vehicle miles travel

Ranking by average population

2010

61

91/93

84/93

2009

62

96/98

91/98

2008

63

94/97

90/97

2007

49

96/96

94/96

2006

81

82/97

84/97

With the exception of 2007, when collisions were much lower than other years, Danville has been on a slight downward trend and has ranked relatively high among other Group D cities.

By comparison, Pleasant Hill, another city in the same population range, experienced 169 fatal or serious accidents, with 16 linked to alcohol use. And San Pablo, with nearly 13,000 fewer residents, had 12 alcohol-linked accidents and 82 deadly or serious collisions.

Here is Danville's numbers:

Type of collisions

Killed or injured

Ranking by daily vehicle miles travel

Ranking by average population

Total Fatal and Injury

61

91/93

84/93

Alcohol Involved

8

76/93

67/93

HBD Driver < 21

0

86/93

87/93

HBD Driver 21 - 34

1

77/93

77/93

Motorcycles

1

82/93

82/93

Pedestrians

4

83/93

80/93

Pedestrians < 15

1

57/93

59/93

Pedestrians 65+

1

51/93

50/93

Bicyclists

15

41/93

32/93

Bicyclists < 15

1

70/93

68/93

Composite

 

89/93

85/9

Speed Related

10

84/93

80/93

Nighttime (9:00pm - 2:59am)

3

89/93

87/93

Hit and Run

1

92/93

91/93

DUI ARRESTS

65    0.25%

 

12/92

To view historical trend data on speeding, bicyclist, and alcohol related collisions from 2006 to 2010 based on OTS's reports go .

Public awareness campaigns like those that discourage drunk driving or encourage the use of seat belts have made an enormous dent in driving habits, Cochran said.

He added that the whole purpose of the report is to see what can be done differently.

For instance, a city with gaps in pedestrian safety can seek grants through the OTS to fund roadway improvements. Those with high numbers of alcohol-related crashes might seek funding for increased DUI patrols, checkpoints, or Breathalyzer kits.

The results offered up some mysteries. For instance, Sacramento is the worst in the state for alcohol-related crashes. No single cause stands out.

The OTS is conducting its own public awareness campaign this month in an effort to get motorists to abandon the use of cell phones while driving – the number one source of motorist distraction, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: April is “National Distracted Driving Month.”

Engagement

Where do you think the most dangerous spot in Danville is?

For trend data on alcohol and speeding related collisions, as well as collisions involving bicycles, go .

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