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Dona Sapp
Center for Criminal Justice Research

Last modified: Thursday, October 14, 2010

IU research center releases comprehensive report on Indiana traffic collisions

Oct. 14, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS -- The number of traffic collisions and fatal collisions in Indiana declined significantly in 2009 from the previous year, according to a comprehensive analysis of crash data released this week by an Indiana University research center.

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But traffic collisions remain a serious issue, both in human and economic terms, the report shows. Some 46,590 people were injured in motor vehicle accidents in Indiana in 2009. And the economic cost of vehicle collisions in the state exceeded $4.3 billion for the year.

Indiana Crash Facts 2009 was produced by the Center for Criminal Justice Research, part of the Indiana University Public Policy Institute at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. The center collaborates with the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute to analyze data from the Automated Reporting Information Exchange System (ARIES) database maintained by the Indiana State Police.

The 180-page annual Crash Facts report includes nearly 100 tables, 35 charts and 21 maps providing detailed information on types and causes of crashes, characteristics of drivers, motorcycle accidents, and the role of speed and alcohol. It includes short-term and long-term goals such as reducing crashes, reducing fatalities, increasing seat-belt usage and improving safety for young drivers. And it provides county-by-county data on such factors as accident rates, fatalities, crashes involving young drivers, and vehicle-deer collisions.

Traffic safety "quick facts" from the report include:

  • 189,676 traffic collisions resulting in injury or property damage occurred in Indiana in 2009, a 7.7 percent decrease from 2008.
  • There were 631 fatal collisions in 2009, a 12.6 percent decrease from 2008.
  • 9.6 percent of all collisions were speed-related; 21.6 percent of fatal collisions were speed-related.
  • 4.7 percent of all collisions were alcohol-related; 24.9 percent of fatal collisions were alcohol-related.
  • 62 non-motorists were killed in collisions: 55 pedestrians and seven cyclists.

Indiana Crash Facts 2009 can be downloaded from the Center for Criminal Justice Research Website at

Each year, the report's authors present their findings to groups such as the state Traffic Records Coordinating Committee, a committee comprised of Indiana Law Enforcement Liaisons and other traffic safety partners, and the Governor's Council on Impaired and Dangerous Driving. The book is used by law enforcement officers to plan traffic enforcement activities and by legislators to identify the need for changes or additions to traffic safety legislation.

The Center for Criminal Justice Research works with public safety agencies and social services organizations to provide impartial applied research on criminal justice and public safety issues. CCJR provides analysis, evaluation, and assistance to criminal justice agencies; and community information and education on public safety questions.

The IU Public Policy Institute is a collaborative, multidisciplinary research institute within the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs. The Institute serves as an umbrella organization for research centers affiliated with SPEA, including the Center for Urban Policy and the Environment, and the Center for Criminal Justice Research.