It’s a mouthful – the University of Alabama’s College of Engineering’s Center for Advanced Public Safety – but the center’s Safety Portal has some detailed crash data that many Birmingham drivers will find useful. The Safety Portal combines years of Alabama motor vehicle crash data with FARS (Fatality Analysis Reporting System) data from the federal government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
OK, let’s put aside the acronyms for a minute and take a look at some of the crash data compiled from January 1, 2013, to the last day of last year. For instance, the Safety Portal tells us that the vast majority of wrecks occur in dry conditions (75 percent), while 16.7 percent happen when it’s wet. Conditions are not known for 3.5 percent of crashes, and unsurprisingly, only half of one percent of all roadway wrecks involved ice, snow or slush.
You can search the data using a wide variety of filters, including the following (the number of injuries in the five-year period is included):
- Injuries (incapacitating): 29,469
- Injuries (non-incapacitating): 56,372
- Fatalities: 4,268
- Property damage only: 575,064
Slightly more than 20 percent of all crashes in the state happened here in Jefferson County, while Mobile County had the second most with 10 percent of the statewide total.
Officers also estimated the speeds at which vehicles were traveling at the moment of impact. While the speed is unknown in 40 percent of wrecks, 2.23 percent of crashes took place at speeds from 66 to 70 mph. Obviously, serious injuries and fatalities are most likely to occur at high speeds.
You can also find statistics on drunk and drugged driving, distracted driving, time of day, gender, day of the week, day of the month and so on.