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Study released on predicting and preventing traffic crashes in Montgomery County

multilane road with heavy traffic

Predictive Safety Analysis’ provides county leadership with data-driven strategies to advance its Vision Zero goal of eliminating traffic-related deaths and severe injuries by 2030

Wheaton, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), briefed the Montgomery Planning Board on Thursday, July 21 at their meeting on the findings of a transportation safety study, the Predictive Safety Analysis, that uses data to estimate the number of crashes at all roadway segments and intersections in the county. The analysis will help county decisionmakers make targeted changes to the roadway network to advance the county’s goal to eliminate traffic-related deaths and severe injuries by 2030.

View the Predictive Safety Analysis Final Report
View the top 200 crash locations by crash type map
View the staff report from the July 21 Planning Board meeting

“The Predictive Safety Analysis is the first step towards implementing proactive approaches to improve traffic safety in Montgomery County,” said project manager, Jesse Cohn McGowan. “This marks a shift from primarily focusing in a reactive way on locations where crashes have occurred to more proactive and systemic approaches that identify and treat locations that have high risk for crashes in the future.”

The Montgomery Planning project developed formulas that estimate the number of crashes for common bicycle, pedestrian, and motor vehicle crash types. These formulas consider crash setting (urban, suburban, or rural), roadway characteristics (speed limits, traffic signals, and presence of crosswalks), and travel activity levels (the number of pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists using a roadway or intersection).

The formulas are applied to determine the intersections and streets within the county with the greatest crash risk, as well as to identify effective countermeasures for improving safety. Some of these countermeasures include:

Key findings of Predictive Safety Analysis:

For a more detailed review of the findings and potential ways to apply the study’s results to improve traffic safety, please view the full Predictive Safety Analysis report. There is also a dedicated webpage that further explains the Predictive Safety Analysis.

About Montgomery Planning and Vision Zero

Vision Zero is a proven approach to preventing roadway-related deaths and severe injuries. It represents a fundamental change in how we plan and design our roads, shifting from a focus on maximizing motor vehicle efficiency to ensuring that our roads are safe regardless of whether travel is by car, bus, bicycle, or on foot. Vision Zero recognizes that people will sometimes make mistakes and that our roads should be designed to ensure those inevitable mistakes do not result in severe injuries or fatalities.

Through its 2016 County Council resolution, Montgomery County committed to eliminating traffic fatalities and severe injuries. In 2021, the County Executive released a ten-year action plan to eliminate traffic fatalities and severe injuries by 2030.

The Planning Department’s Role in Vision Zero

Vision Zero is a multidisciplinary effort that requires the support of all county agencies to be successful. The Montgomery County Planning Department has an important role to play in Vision Zero and can support Montgomery County’s program with community engagement, stakeholder facilitation, data analysis and a focus on long-term visioning. Montgomery Planning advances Vision Zero through the following ongoing activities:

  1. Master Planning: Through master planning, Montgomery Planning engages the community to re-envision our auto-oriented roadways as safe, complete streets for walking, bicycling and driving.
  2. Development and Capital Projects: The Montgomery County Planning Board helps to implement the safety recommendations in master plans by reviewing proposed development and capital projects.
  3. Data Analysis: The Planning Department has extensive data collection and analysis resources to identify roadway characteristics that create safety challenges and to propose proven changes to improve safety.
  4. Community Support and Engagement: Montgomery Planning provides support for building a Vision Zero constituency in the county.

Learn more at: