With rise in Montgomery Co. traffic deaths, a new study focuses on prevention

A new study out of Montgomery County, Maryland, is taking a proactive approach to stopping roadway crashes and fatalities.

The Predictive Safety Analysis Final Report looked at past crashes and fatalities in the county to help identify specific roadway segments and intersections that may be prone to high-risk crashes in the future.

The report, created by Montgomery Planning, is a part of Montgomery County’s Vision Zero goal to eliminate traffic deaths and severe injuries by 2030. Similar Vision Zero initiatives are being pursued in counties throughout the U.S.

Between 2015 and 2019, there were over 59,000 crashes in Montgomery County, leading to over 1,200 severe injuries and nearly 150 fatalities.

Researchers were able to estimate the number of crashes at every roadway and intersection, leading to a map of the top 200 areas likely to have specific crash types.

Some of the key crash types that took place between 2015 and 2019 include:

  • Pedestrian crashes after dark at intersections: 496
  • Pedestrian crashes on roadway segments with vehicles going straight: 418
  • Bicycle crashes at intersections: 456
  • Left-turn crashes at intersections: 4,647
  • Motor vehicle straight/angle crashes at intersections: 6,680
  • Single vehicle crashes along roadway segments: 3,989

The report says that, while much of Montgomery County’s crash risk exists in suburban boulevards (such as Georgia Avenue or Middlebrook Road), downtowns and town centers still carry the highest average crash risk.

The planning board has been briefed on the new study, who hope the data will help them prioritize where and how to invest in county wide safety improvements.

WTOP’s Joshua Barlow contributed to this report.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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