Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Local News

March 14, 2014

Report shows collisions increasing each year

Indiana traffic fatalities increased 3.9 percent from 2011-12, but decreased annually on average 0.7 percent since 2003, according to fact sheets compiled in Indiana Crash Facts 2012, the most recent year available.

The Indiana University Public Policy Institute collaborated with the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute to analyze data from the Automated Reporting Information Exchange System database maintained by the Indiana State Police.

With 188,841 collisions in 2012, this was a 0.4 percent increase from the prior year.In addition, fatal collisions increased 6.5 percent during that time.

Collisions were most common during afternoon rush hour, 3-5:59 p.m. weekdays. In 2012, the highest proportion of fatal accidents (1.2 percent) occurred on Sundays and Fridays midnight-3 a.m.

From 2008-12, the winter months had the highest incidence of total collisions, while summer months had the highest number of fatal ones. The lowest incidence of both types occurred during early spring months throughout the five-year period, according to the report.

“While the number of Indiana crashes has remained steady overall since 2009, aggressive driving collisions and crashes that involved an alcohol-impaired driver have been on the rise during this time period .... (and) collisions that involved a speeding driver have been on the decline since 2008.”

Collisions involving an alcohol-impaired driver “increased at an annualized rate of 11 percent between 2008-12 .... Alcohol-impaired collisions (5,152) increased 4.3 percent in 2012, up from 4,938 in 2011.” Traffic fatalities that occurred in these types of crashes increased 12.9 percent in 2012 from the previous year. “Eighty-four percent of alcohol-impaired traffic fatalities – 132 of 158 – were drivers.”

The percentage of fatal collisions involving an impaired driver was “particularly high during holiday periods,” the document stated.

“While 12.8 percent of all fatal collisions in 2012 involved an impaired driver, 25 percent of fatal collisions that occurred during the New Year’s holiday period involved a driver who was legally impaired .... 58.3 percent of fatal collisions that occurred over St. Patrick’s Day, and 40 percent ... that occurred over Memorial Day involved a driver who was legally impaired.

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