The Safety Plan

Reaching a goal of zero deaths and serious injuries is not as impossible as it may sound.

It is the same goal we set for ourselves, our families, and our friends every time we drive, walk, or ride.

The Arrive Alive Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) is a five-year, action-based plan to reach zero deaths and serious injuries on Virginia’s transportation system.

Exploring the Plan

Motor vehicle crashes are viewed mainly as a transportation and mobility issue, which is why deaths and serious injuries are compared using transportation-oriented measures such as the number of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) or the type of facility. 

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in 2015, Virginia ranks 11th lowest in the nation (tied with Hawaii and Wisconsin) on deaths per 100 million VMT.2 Overall reductions in the rate of fatalities and serious injuries can be attributed, in part, to increased vehicle miles traveled, which has leveled out in the last few years

What is the SHSP?

Comprehensive, multi-stakeholder plan that sets goals and strategies to reduce highway deaths and injuries:

  • Statewide, multimodal highway safety plan
  • Coordinated framework for reducing deaths and serious injuries
  • Involvement of Federal, state, local, and private sector stakeholders: 4Es
  • Required to be updated every five years

Mission, Vision, and Goals:

Vision: Toward Zero Deaths. All roadway users should arrive safely at their destinations
Mission:To save lives and reduce injuries through a data driven strategic approach that uses enforcement, education, engineering, and emergency response strategies.
Goals: To reduce highway deaths and serious injuries by half by 2030, with a 5 Year objectives to reduce deaths and serious injuries by 3 percent per year

Focus Areas:

A critical first step was the identification and selection of the emphasis areas for the plan in consultation with safety stakeholders. After reviewing the data, the SHSP Steering Committee selected the following emphasis areas for the plan:

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The Cost of Crashes in Virginia

Traffic fatalities and serious injuries also substantially impact the Commonwealth and local communities through increased medical costs, lost wages, insurance costs, taxes, police, fire and emergency services, legal and court costs as well as property damage. 

According to NHTSA, the economic and societal impact of motor vehicle crashes in the Commonwealth is nearly $5 billion in 2010 dollars.

The following facts demonstrate the public health problem the Commonwealth is facing due to traffic crashes. In Virginia between 2011 and 2015 motor vehicle crashes annually caused:

Objectives Visualized:

The objectives of the SHSP will be tracked each year to determine if the SHSP remains on target to achieve the recommended reductions. Since it is a living document, the actions in the plan can be updated if it is not meeting the stated goal. The following objectives have been determined: 

How We'll Do It:

To further link the plan to effective approaches, the strategies and actions all focus on the 4 E s of safety:

Engineering

This E involves the design of roadways and the surrounding environment using solutions that reduce crashes or minimize the severity of crashes when they occur. Click here to learn more about our state’s infrastructure and operations. 

Education

This E involves providing information to road users, through public awareness campaigns, media stories, social media, driver’s education, and other avenues, to help them make good choices.

Emergency Medical Services

This E involves the efforts of emergency responders in providing medical services quickly and effectively to individuals involved in crashes.

Enforcement

This E involves the actions and efforts by the thousands of state and local law enforcement officers throughout the Commonwealth who are working to ensure road users follow the law. Strategies and actions in this area often involve targeted efforts in areas where crashes happen and involve changing road user behavior.