Safety Data


The main collector and curator of transportation-related safety data is the US DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). According to the NHTSA website, the agency’s mission is to “save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce economic costs due to road traffic, crashes, through education, research, safety standards, and enforcement.” Within NHTSA, its National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA) provides a repository of transportation-related safety data.

NCSA maintains a compilation of crash data from 34 states as part of its State Data System (see (opens new window)). It also maintains the national Fatality Analysis Reporting System, which is a national census of the location and characteristics of fatal injuries suffered in motor vehicle traffic crashes (see (opens new window)). This includes motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian fatalities.

Details on the specific crash locations and factors contributing to the accidents are also available and can be used in Urban Transportation efforts (such as Vision Zero programs). Examples at the state and urban level include:

  • As part of the statewide California Performance Measurement System (PeMS) (opens new window) safety and incident data from the California Highway Patrol can be accessed, including data related to work zones. PeMS now includes archived incident data from over 10 years for various freeways and highways in California. The California Highway Patrol data include the following types of incidents: accident, breakdown, congestion, hazard, policy, weather, and other. Data Fields include incident ID, start time, duration (minutes), freeway, location, and description. The data can be accessed at no charge after creating an account.

  • As a part of their VisionZero program for traffic safety, NYC periodically uploads crash data. These data are available since April 2014. For each crash, the data includes the data, time, borough, zip code, latitude and longitude, and street name(s). The data also includes the number of persons injured or killed (by motorist, pedestrian and cyclist), contributing factors and details about the vehicle involved. Basic querying tools are available on the standardized feeds available on (opens new window).

Contributors: (Sandeep Mudigonda,

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