State Highway Safety Report (2021) - Georgia
The following provides a summary of the Highway Safety Improvement Program's (HSIP) safety performance measures and State safety performance targets. As per the Safety PM Final Rule, States are required to set annual safety performance targets in the HSIP annual report for the number of fatalities, rate of fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT), number of serious injuries, rate of serious injures per 100 million VMT, and number of non-motorized fatalities and serious injuries. The safety performance targets are based on 5-year rolling averages. States have the flexibility to use the methodology they deem most appropriate when establishing safety performance targets. FHWA encourages States to review data sets and trends and consider factors that may affect targets. The safety performance targets should be data-driven, realistic, and attainable and should align with the performance management framework and legislative intent.
A State Department of Transportation (DOT) has met or made significant progress towards meeting its safety performance targets when at least four of the five safety performance targets established under 23 CFR 490.209(a) have been met or the actual outcome is better than the baseline performance. The baseline performance is the 5-year average ending with the year prior to the establishment of the target.
The Basis for Target and Additional Comments are provided by the State in their HSIP Annual Report and have not been edited by FHWA. Any questions about individual State reports should be directed to the respective State DOT. For additional information about each State's HSIP, the complete reports are available at https://highways.dot.gov/safety/hsip/reporting.
More information and resources on Safety Performance Management are available at https://highways.dot.gov/safety/hsip/spm/safety-performance-management-safety-pm-overview.
All State data used to populate the State Highway Safety Reports for 2021 are available for download at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/tpm/reporting/state/tpm_dashboard_data.zip.
Support for the SHSP Vision Zero: The Traffic Records Coordinating Committee working with other state agencies, law enforcement, federal partners, and MPOs have shared the status of our performance metrics. By communicating these measures annually, it is our expectation that we will build a common appreciation for the hazards associated with motor vehicle travel. This acknowledgement will encourage safety investment and cooperation between safety advocates. Serious Injury Data Considerations: The Traffic Records Coordinating Committee (TRCC), Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), and Crash Outcomes Data Evaluation System (CODES) are making great strides in improving the quality of traffic serious injuries reporting in Georgia. After expanding the serious injury definitions (more detailed and specific for law enforcement) to meet the requirements of the Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria (MMUCC) KABCO scale in 2013, GDOT modified the Georgia Uniform Motor Vehicle Accident Report and conducted a series of training for law enforcement. Part of the training emphasized how to properly report critical accident fields (such as the new ‘suspected’ serious injury definitions) and how to submit crash reports (electronic and/or paper) to GDOT. In addition to the police training, the data subcommittee is developing a process for checking police-reported serious injuries in the crash database by cross-referencing the queried values with Emergency Medical Services data and Hospital Records. Additionally, CODES is performing data linkages across all three data sources to assess the quality of recent crash reports and to re-calibrate the values from serious injury values in previous years. In June 2020, the data subcommittee took the first step towards redefining and re-calibrating the ‘suspected serious injuries’ from 2009 to 2019. KABCO scale is a functional measure of the injury severity for any person involved in the crash. K-Fatal Injury, A-Suspected Serious Injury, B-Suspected Minor Injury, C-Possible Injury, and O-No Apparent Injury. Other Considerations The FY2021 targets did not include the assessment of external or unforeseen circumstances that can impact traffic safety outcome measures, such as the Corona-virus (COVID-19) events and changes in police monitoring, government responses, hospitalization rates, etc.
GDOT, GOHS, our state agency partners, and local organizations use the statewide five-year rolling average (2016-2020 FARS data) to determine the annual targets and progress status for each traffic safety performance measure. Specifically, the team plots the five most recent data points to determine the “best fit” model (linear or quadratic polynomial) that shows the relationship between the five-year rolling average and time. The model with the highest R2 value (reflective of a correlation between the five-year rolling average and time) is used to derive the FY2023 target values and determine FY2022 progress status. It’s important to note that five-year rolling averages are designed to smooth the data and reduce the variations that may appear in the raw annual time series; therefore, the correlation values (R2) are usually higher for models with the five-year moving average compared to models with annual raw values.
The public health emergency responses to the COVID-19 pandemic had unprecedented restrictions on travel in the state of Georgia. Due to the Governor of Georgia’s Executive Order declaring a public health state of emergency issued on March 14, 2020, a substantial proportion of the population did not travel, particularly on roadways and public transportation systems. Despite the decrease in traffic volume and fewer vehicle miles traveled in 2020, Georgia experienced an increase in traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries—indicative that traffic crashes tended to be more severe when they occurred, and drivers were engaging in more risky driving behaviors. Traffic-related data, such as VMT and motor vehicle crashes, show that the travel environment in Georgia is returning to the pre-pandemic norms as of early 2021.
Many traffic safety practitioners and data analysts consider the 2020 year to be an anomaly; however, the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on traffic safety is still unknown. The methodology used to determine the FY2022 traffic safety performance measures progress status and the FY2023 targets were not adjusted to address the rise in 2020 traffic fatalities due to the COVID-19 public health emergency responses. As such, the statistical projections show that many of the FY2022 targets were not met. Additionally, future targets that will be established may be distorted and perhaps overestimated since the 2020 anomaly will be included in the 5-year rolling average analyses for fiscal years 2023-2028.
Safety Performance Target Assessment
PLEASE NOTE: Each State’s safety performance target assessment is based on its own State-specific target methodology and program philosophy. Therefore, conclusions should not be drawn based only on the information in the Safety Performance Target Assessment Summary table. For example, the State may have set aggressive targets, and not met those targets, while another State may have set more easily attainable targets, and met those targets. FHWA understands that each State’s safety program is unique and therefore does not prescribe a methodology for States to set targets. States have the flexibility to use the methodology they deem most appropriate when setting their safety performance targets.
|Better Than Baseline?
|Met or Made Significant Progress?
|Number of Fatalities
|Rate of Fatalities
|Number of Serious Injuries
|Rate of Serious Injuries
|Number of non-motorized fatalities and non-motorized serious injuries