I stumbled across a twitter feed about a week ago, and it is filling up my twitter timeline, by far the busiest thing I follow. It is Sac Traffic, which is a CHP feed of traffic alerts in the Sacramento region, at @sactraffic.
As a bicycle rider and walker I’m hyper aware of the risk out on the roadway, and assumed there were more incidents than I was aware of, but I had no idea there were so many in the Sacramento region. I follow the Sacto911 blog on the SacBee for the purpose of tracking carnage to pedestrians and bicyclists. It includes traffic and other crime, but it generally only has a few to no incidents per day. I’ve long suspected there were more, but never had any solid information.
It is basically a game of bumper cars out there!
The categories used in the feed are not necessarily what I’d chose, and unfortunately are not exclusive, but here they are:
- collision, ambulance enroute
- collision with injury
- collision no injury
- hit & run with injury
- hit & run no injury
- other, which includes animals, traffic lights, car fires, etc.
I tabulated and graphed the incidents for the last three days: Saturday, November 29, Sunday, November 30, and Monday, December 1. The rightmost three bars are the sums for each day, 45 or 46 per day. I don’t know if these three days are typical or not, as I haven’t had time to go back further and tabulate.
I guess that the fatality and ambulance categories might include hit & run, so there may be more hit & run than would be indicated by the two hit & run categories. It is very disturbing how many hit & run incidents there are. I had heard that there is a growing prevalence of hit & run, people leaving the scene of a crash, but it is still a shock to see it here in the statistics.
These alerts are just the initial reports. Other than the fatality category, when the victim is clearly dead when law enforcement receives the report, I don’t know the outcome of any incidents, either in the severity of injury, or in the fault of the drivers. To some degree that information shows up in the state SWITRS database, but only after the investigation is complete and the data is entered, which is about two years. I don’t know if there are sources of information covering the period between the alert and SWITRS.
Some people claim this is a functional transportation system. With this level of crashes, it is anything but.