Federal traffic consultants have been working with INCOG on a local road safety plan, and their review of crash data has revealed some areas of focus for the region.
"We are coming up higher on alcohol-involved crashes in our five-county region compared to the rest of the area. We are coming up as very high for bicycle- and pedestrian-related crashes as well," said INCOG Transportation Planning Director Viplav Putta.
When the City of Tulsa is excluded, alcohol was involved in nearly 20% of crashes in Creek, Osage, Rogers, Tulsa and Wagoner counties where someone was seriously injured or killed. Statewide, that proportion is 13%.
With the City of Tulsa included, 9% of crashes where someone is seriously injured or killed involved a vehicle hitting a pedestrian, almost three times higher than the statewide proportion.
Crashes involving fixed objects, head-on collisions, and crashes involving drivers under 20 or over 65 years old are also overrepresented locally.
Putta said the next stage of developing the safety plan will involve working with local officials to plan projects and education campaigns that could help reduce serious crashes in their areas.
"The vision was to reduce deaths as much as possible to zero. The goal is to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries by 25% by the year 2030," Putta said.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation has already prioritized safety improvements like shoulder widening on rural roads that could help in some places.
Federal highway consultants are helping with the safety plan at no cost to INCOG.