Today’s Headlines

  • Traffic Deaths Jumped 29 Percent Last Year Across State to 635 (9News, DenPo)
  • … And Westword Says the Crashes — Even DUIs — Were Accidents
  • CO Sen. Larry Crowder’s Bill Would Make It Cheaper to Drive, Siphon State Revenue (CBS4)
  • GOP Roads and Bridges Borrowing Bill Clears Committee (KGNU)
  • Hickenlooper Updates Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Gases With Electric Vehicles (AP)
  • Dish Network Buys Denver Parking Spot App ParkiFi (DBJ)

National headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • mckillio

    Why is it that traffic deaths, crashes etc. are always measured in total numbers and not rates? The total amount is meaningless without the rate. It certainly looks like the rate has gone up but it would be nice to deal with real numbers.

    • TakeFive

      Are you wanting rates per capita, per number of drivers, per city or YOY rates of change or what?

      Btw, Westword does a nice job of listing fatal accidents by county, by city and by (when determined) by impaired drivers.

      • mckillio

        Any of them, the news outlets in CO almost never show any rates, just the total numbers which are borderline meaningless without context.

        • TakeFive

          Yeah that’s fair; it’s a good point to make in fact.

    • red123

      Traffic engineers do use rates. It’s usually fatal crashes per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. That’s sometimes difficult for the general public to wrap there head around.

      It’s also hard to explain to somebody that the intersection they see crashes at all the time is actually sometimes safer than others based on the crash rates.

      • mckillio

        Oh, I know that. I meant in news articles, they always are saying murders and crashes, and traffic deaths have gone up but that’s not nearly as important as the rate.

  • TakeFive

    And Westword Says the Crashes — Even DUIs — Were Accidents

    For those not needing to be politically correct, using accidents instead of crashes is perfectly appropriate. An accident is an unintentional incident as opposed to intentional. The incidents of intentional crashes is rare. Those driving under the influence (of whatever) may be showing a reckless disregard but that’s not the same as intending to run into or over somebody.

    • MT

      Except everyone involved in road safety disagrees with that.

      The use of accident implies no fault and implies that it’s not preventable.

      Even CDOT has stopped using the term.

      • TakeFive

        CDOT prefers to be politically correct and that’s fine. Accident does NOT imply no fault, rather it is not intentional. There’s a difference. The top 10 causes of crashes to use your preferred terminology are: 1) distracted driving 2) Drunk driving 3) Speeding 4) Reckless driving 5) rain – or Denver’s case snow 6) Red light running 7) Night driving 8) design and other road defects 9) tailgating 10) (tie) Wrong way/improper turns and 10) teenage drivers.

        • MT

          The crash may not be intentional, but the behavior that led directly to the crash was.

          That can not be left our of media reports on crashes. It gives the public the perception that these events aren’t preventable. Doesn’t matter what the dictionary says, that’s how it’s perceived.

          That is why everyone involved in safety prefers this terminology. It’s not to be “PC”, it’s important to changing the culture around deaths caused by cars. It’s important to saving lives.

          • TakeFive

            Seems like the cause if often publicized like being drunk etc. Not sure how much distinction the average Joe or Juanita would discern from words but I agree it’s important to pursue scofflaws and effort to prevent them in the first place.

          • MT

            Higher profile incidents sometimes include more info on the cause, especially if the driver was drunk.

            Many crashes, even fatal ones, don’t get much mention in the news other than a headline and a couple sentences. It’s important what’s in that headline.

          • TakeFive

            I think videos of crashes and reports should be presented in every HS since teens are some of the worst offenders.

  • PabloDali

    Marijuana use has increased too.

    Coincidence ???

  • John Riecke

    No mention in updated state plan to encourage walkable, car-optional (or car-free) development? Ignoring impact of car-oriented development on environment and air-quality is disappointing.