LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Jefferson County had Kentucky's highest rate of traffic wrecks involving pedestrians and ranked second in vehicle collisions with cyclists.

Overall, there were more than 25,000 fatal or injury crashes within the county – enough to qualify as a “critical” crash rate, or above the average for other large counties.

Those are among the findings from a five-year study of traffic data published last month by the Kentucky Transportation Center at the University of Kentucky. The report, which reviewed data from 2009 to 2013, found that in Jefferson County:

--The number of total crashes (28,503) declined in 2013 by about 850 from the year before -- but remain higher than levels of 2009 and 2010.

--There were 706 bicycle-involved collisions, or 1.9 crashes per 10,000 people. That was slightly behind Fayette County, which led the state with 2.1 such crashes per 10,000 people.

--Drug-related crashes accounted for 0.5 percent of all wrecks -- tied for the third-lowest rate in the state.

The report does not break down how many pedestrian deaths occurred among the 1,515 crashes in Jefferson County – or 4.1 for every 10,000 people.

Police reports show 71 people on foot died during that time in Jefferson County after being struck. Meanwhile, those deaths are on pace this year to reach their highest levels since 2008, when 24 pedestrians were killed in collisions, as WDRB News previously reported.

Besides crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists, the report reviewed data for alcohol- and drug-related collisions, seat-belt use, wrecks involving speeding and other categories, such as truck and school bus crashes.

Statewide, slightly more than 1 percent of all crashes involved drugs, but 29 counties had rates of double the state average or more. That includes eight counties in southeastern Kentucky in which more than 5 percent of all crashes involved drugs.

The report concludes that “additional drug education and enforcement is warranted in this region of the state.”

Among cities, researchers found, Newport had the highest rate of pedestrian crashes – 10.6 per 10,000 people – followed by another northern Kentucky city, Covington (8.4).


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