UK-KTC Improvement of Fatal Crash Analysis and Follow-Up

Grants and Contracts Details


Fatalities resulting from traffic crashes in Kentucky have increased from a low of 638 in 2013 to 835 in 2016 (31% increase), and there is not a full understanding of the underlying causes for this trend. It is unknown whether improvements in the data collection and reporting of fatal crashes can result in more directed and applicable methods than presently being employed. Varying levels of investigation and reconstruction are being used by police agencies for fatal crashes and a comparative analysis of the information provided could determine whether the actual causes are being identified and reported. Results from the analysis could be used to identify countermeasures (legislation, engineering, education, and enforcement, emergency medical) to reduce fatal crashes. In addition, a subset of all fatal crashes, those involving alcohol and drugs would be given special attention. Police reported collision data in Kentucky does not clearly represent the magnitude of alcohol and drug related fatal crashes. There is a significant level of underreporting when police reported data is compared to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as part of the Fatal Accident Reporting System (FARS). For alcohol crashes in 2015, there were 110 police reported fatal collisions and when medical data is reviewed as part of FARS, the number of alcohol crashes increases to 162 (47% increase). Similarly, and with a much more significant increase, collisions with drug involvement totaled only 34 from police reported data, but increased to 233 when medical data from FARS was analyzed (nearly 600% increase). The level of awareness associated with impaired driving is and has been an issue of significant importance; however, there appears to be an absence of positive results in the campaigns and countermeasures used to address the problem. More detailed analysis of the fatal crashes involving alcohol and drugs would be the first step in understanding the patterns of impaired drivers in terms of their overall characteristics, locations of the crashes, time of day, types of drugs, and other identifying factors that affect patterns and behavior.
Effective start/end date10/1/179/30/18


  • KY Office of Highway Safety: $75,004.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.