LINTHICUM HEIGHTS, MD (April 12, 2023) – The Maryland Department of Transportation today convened the annual Highway Safety Summit, bringing together safety leaders and stakeholders to develop steps for Maryland’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan, a five-year program with the goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2030. Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld was joined by Maryland Department of State Police Superintendent Col. Roland L. Butler, Jr., Motor Vehicle Administrator Chrissy Nizer, and hundreds of highway safety advocates to discuss ways to promote highway safety.
“As a community, we must make responsible driving decisions and work together to provide safe transportation for everyone,” said Secretary Wiedefeld. “Even one roadway death is unacceptable. To achieve our goal of zero fatalities and serious injuries on Maryland’s roadways, we need a collaborative approach that involves policy, awareness, enforcement and personal responsibility.”
During the summit, state and federal transportation officials came together to discuss ways to curb roadway tragedies by urging motorists to slow down, put the phone away, buckle up, drive sober and always stay alert and exercise caution around pedestrians and bicyclists. They also unveiled a new Crash Fatality Dashboard, which puts comprehensive statewide crash data at the fingertips of the public and highway safety professionals.
According to preliminary data, 563 people died on Maryland roadways in 2022. Highway deaths came as a result of 532 fatal crashes and include 135 pedestrians and 11 bicyclists. The total number of deaths is the same number recorded in 2021. However, 2021 had fewer pedestrian deaths with 131, and fewer bicyclist fatalities, with six.
Transportation officials cited four persistent causes of fatal crashes: speeding/aggressive driving, impairment by alcohol and/or drugs, distraction and failure to use seat restraints. Crashes involving these factors – all preventable – resulted in the deaths of drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists.
The 2022 increase in pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities in Maryland is a reminder to be aware of vulnerable travelers, a key element of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Safe System Approach. Drivers are reminded to look twice, especially for road users who may be harder to see. Pedestrians and bicyclists are reminded to wear bright colors, cross at marked crosswalks and ride with traffic.
New Crash Fatality Dashboard
The new Crash Fatality Dashboard was developed collaboratively between the Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office, the State Highway Administration and Maryland State Police and offers in-depth analysis of statewide fatal crash data. The data is sourced from the Maryland State Police Automated Crash Reporting System and the Maryland State Police Data Warehouse.
“The work of our public safety partners is incredibly important to our combined mission of saving lives,” said Col. Butler. “With innovative approaches like the dashboard, we are able to identify areas for greater risk of fatalities based on specific driving behaviors. Using this information allows law enforcement to deploy additional resources where they are needed the most.”
Features of the new Crash Fatality Dashboard include:
- Interactive Data Broken Down by Jurisdiction. A heatmap provides a visualization of overall crash data and all data subsets may be broken out by year, month and jurisdiction.
- More Frequent Updates. Previously, crash data on ZeroDeathsMD.gov/CrashData was manually updated on a monthly basis. The new dashboard will be updated daily.
- Additional Crash Characteristics. The dashboard easily provides characteristics surrounding crashes including weather conditions, lighting conditions, and non-motorist movement. Additional information is available in detailed reports.
- Emphasis Areas. Expanding beyond the most commonly requested crash numbers, the emphasis area tab records fatalities that occurred in an intersection or work zone – as well as whether the vehicle left the roadway during the crash.
For questions surrounding the crash dashboard, please view the Crash Fatality Dashboard FAQ.
Learn more about the Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office at ZeroDeathsMD.gov or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @ZeroDeathsMD.
Click here for a demo of the Crash Dashboard
Video of the fatality announcement available upon request