Oakland County Roads are Not the Safest

irtadIf you read the Road Commission for Oakland County web site you’d see their claim that the county has “the safest roads in the world.”

They’re wrong.

To jump to this conclusion, they divided the number of fatalities by 100 million vehicle miles traveled. The more miles driven on the expressways, the safer the rest of the roads look.

And in 2008, 27% of all Oakland County road fatalities were pedestrians and cyclists. To divide those fatalities by the number of vehicle miles traveled is clearly invalid — and it reflects the low priority the Road Commission places on road users who are not inside a motor vehicle.

What the Road Commission should be reporting is the fatality rate based on the population size.

Here are the 2008 fatality rates per 100,000 people (based on 2008 SEMCOG population estimates):

  • Oakland County 13
  • Macomb County 13
  • St. Clair County 18
  • Wayne County 20

These are not world class when compared with other countries.

The U.K.’s Department for Transport’s recent report “A Safer Way: Consultation on Making Britain’s Roads the Safest in the World.” (via How We Drive) compiles road fatality rates for many countries (See the above chart).

Our county rates show we are among the least safe. Oakland and Macomb counties are only marginally better than the U.S. average, yet double the Canadian average.

We’re apparently neck and neck with Bulgaria.

Oakland County clearly does not have the safest roads.

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2 Responses to “Oakland County Roads are Not the Safest”

  1. Craig Bryson Says:

    Not sure where you got the fatality statistics for the May 11 story. The official number of fatalities on roads in Oakland County in 2008, according to the Traffic Improvement Association of Oakland County, http://www.tiami.org (which receives all police reports related to crashes, fatalities, etc., whether auto or pedestrian, on or near all roads in the county from all police agencies in the county) was 57. Oakland County has 1.2 million people. So, this equates to 4.75 fatalities per 100,000 residents. This does, in fact, put Oakland County at the same level or lower than the safest countries in the world, as the Road Commission has asserted.

  2. Craig Bryson Says:

    Actually SEMCOG data lists only 56 fatalities on roads in Oakland County in 2008 (http://www.semcog.org/Data/Apps/crash.query.cfm). So, that equates to a traffic fatality rate of 4.6666 per 100,000 population. So, again, not sure where you got your fatality data, but it’s wrong.

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