The road system in Indiana is a complex network of highways and byways that move people and cargo from place to place. For all of its benefits, though, a serious traffic accident has the ability to change a person’s life in a matter of moments. This is true for people driving cars, trucks, motorcycles and for pedestrians and people who ride bicycles. What can we all learn from a close look at a comprehensive breakdown of traffic accidents in the state?

According to the publication Indiana Crash Facts 2017, collisions on the road are the result of a variety of factors: speed, alcohol use, seat belt usage, and other driver impairment issues, to name a few prominent factors. From 2008 to 2017, the number of traffic fatalities per 100,000 has remained in a steady range of between 10.8 to 13.7. Rural areas see a higher proportion of fatal crashes per incident due to these three circumstances: a greater level of speed, collisions with fixed objects and the distances required of emergency responses to accidents.  When it comes to non-fatal accidents on Indiana roads, the numbers are trending downward in the past decade: In 2008, just over 54,700 injuries occurred, while in 2017 that number had dropped to just over 50,000.

One positive trend on Indiana roads is a drop in deaths caused by drunk driving. A Fox 59 report highlighted the news that such deaths decreased by 13% in 2018 from the prior year. The article cited information from the Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Reasons cited for the drop included an increase in DUI checkpoints on the roads, greater funding to combat DUIs and an attempt to show offenders how their actions affect victims of crashes.