Vision Zero — Maps and Safety Data

Arlington County Crash Data

View our new interactive Vision Zero Crash Dashboard.

Click here for the Data Dashboard User Guide.







Vision Zero begins with good data and transparency. As part of developing the County’s Vision Zero Action Plan, County staff will use a proactive, data-driven approach to better identify and address the top risk factors before they result in a fatality or serious injury.

The County collects and analyzes data to understand trends, patterns, and systemic safety issues: for example, the locations where fatal and serious crashes have already occurred, how safety interventions are performing, and the neighborhoods/populations disproportionately affected by safety risks. In turn, the findings of the data analyses guide public education, priority actions, and funding.

Throughout the Action Plan process, the County’s data, analyses, and progress reports will be readily accessible to the community to ensure that the Vision Zero effort is transparent and meaningful. Read below to learn more about the data analysis efforts available to date.

Data Sources

The analyses shared below use data developed by the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Section. The main source of the data is owned and maintained by the Virginia DMV.

This data includes only crashes that resulted in over $1500 in damage from both the Arlington County Police Department and Virginia State Police, so the numbers may not directly align with crash reports produced by the Arlington County Police Department.

High Injury Network

Arlington’s Vision Zero High-Injury Network (HIN) identifies streets within the county that have a relatively high number of serious injury and fatal crashes. The Vision Zero approach is focused on reducing our most severe crashes first and foremost, and the HIN allows us to focus analysis and resources on these corridors. In the Vision Zero Action Plan, we made a commitment to update the HIN every three (3) years. Our 2023 HIN identification methodology(PDF, 1MB) applied includes fatal, severe, and visible injury crashes. 

The County's current HIN uses data from 2018-2022. The network covers 52% of all fatal, severe, or injury crashes in Arlington and 6.8% of all roadways: 

View the 2023 Vision Zero High-Injury Network PDF Map(PDF, 1MB)

View the 2023 Vision Zero High-Injury Network Interactive Map

Multidisciplinary staff conduct safety audits on Arlington’s High-Injury Network (HIN) corridors. The purpose of the audits is to visit each HIN corridor to identify: (1) small scale or quick-build projects that we can implement quickly to improve safety, (2) existing/upcoming projects occurring on the corridor and how they will help address safety, and (3) other opportunities or needs to enhance safety for consideration for future capital projects or plans. Visit the High-Injury Network Corridor Safety Audits page to learn more about HIN audits.  

What’s next for the 2023 HIN corridors?

The table below shows the schedule for HIN safety audits that will take place over the next three years (2023-2025). The schedule order takes into consideration: crash severity, upcoming/ongoing site development, upcoming/ongoing capital projects, recently implemented projects, and coordination with nearby plans or studies. Corridors that have been audited within the past two years, will not be re-audited; however, we will conduct periodic crash reviews to understand if/how the corridor is responding to improvements from the safety audit and identify if additional safety measures are necessary.

HIN Timeline.JPG

Why are some corridors not showing up that have had recent fatal or severe crashes?

  • Corridors that experienced a recent fatal or severe crash or crashes may have ranked below the 98th percentile threshold due to limited instances of severe or visible injuries. That does not mean that these corridors will not receive a thorough safety response. We track and investigate all critical (fatal or severe) crashes throughout the year—which lead to immediate engineering response where possible. We also track and investigate hot spots, which cover specific intersections that experience disproportionate crashes over a five-year period.
  • For example, Little Falls Rd, which experienced two fatal crashes during the 2018-2022 period, did not rank in the top 98th percentile. This corridor, though, received a critical crash response. We conducted a thorough assessment along that corridor and added improvements that will continue to be tracked and investigated to ensure they are positively impacting safety on the corridor.

2020 High Injury Network (2017-2019 Data)

When developing the Vision Zero Action Plan, County staff mapped all serious and fatal injury crashes across for the 2017-2019 three-year reporting period. Based on the spatial density of these critical crashes, we identified what Vision Zero safety professionals call the “High-Injury Network” – the corridors with where critical crashes are concentrated. The 2020 High Injury Network represented just 7% of over 555 miles of roadway in Arlington County, but these corridors saw 78% of all serious or fatal crashes reviewed in our research. 2020 High Injury Network Map (PDF)  


What does it mean if a corridor was on the 2020 HIN but not the new 2023 HIN?

It is natural for corridors to fluctuate in number and severity of crashes, especially following new projects or investments along a corridor. While it is a positive indicator for safety when a corridor is no longer part of the HIN, it does not mean that the County abandons any existing plans, recommendations, or proposed follow-up for that corridor. Capital projects often take several years to initiate, so it’s possible that capital projects currently in the planning and design process cover segments from the previous HIN as that is how these projects were identified or escalated. Those projects will continue to move forward and ensure that we are continuing to enhance safety on the corridor to hopefully keep injury crashes low. 


Systemic Critical Crash Analysis

What is Systemic Safety Analysis?

  • The Vision Zero Action Plan recommends an annual analysis of traffic crash data, including a “systemic” review to identify common factors and trends across crash data that can assist with holistically addressing and preventing common crash factors.
  • When patterns emerge between certain types of crashes and roadway or built environment factors, we can use these connections to identify locations with similar characteristics that may be at risk for certain crash types, even though few or no crashes have been reported.
  • In other words, we try to identify specific combinations of risk factors that have resulted in crashes in the past, and then proactively try to address these risk factors in other similar locations to prevent future crashes. 

2016-2020 Systemic Crash Analysis Results

View the 10 Equity Emphasis Area Systemic Crash Profiles(PDF, 31MB)

View the 10 Countywide Systemic Crash Profiles(PDF, 29MB)

Systemic Implementation Page - Coming Soon! 

How did the 2016-2020 systemic analysis work?

  • Variables analyzed in geospatial relation to the 2016-2020 crash dataset included:
    • Travel Modes Involved (vehicle, pedestrian, bike)
    • Average Daily Traffic (ADT) Volumes
    • Posted Speed Limit
    • Roadway Type
    • Pre-Crash Movements (ex. making left turn, making right turn, proceeding straight, etc.)
    • Crash Factors (ex. alcohol, senior)
    • Crash Types (ex. angle, fixed object, rear end, sideswipe, head on, etc.)
    • Vehicle Type (ex. bike, bus, passenger car, motorcycle, pick-up or SUV, tractor truck, etc.)
    • Proximity to a Bike Share Station
    • Nearby Land Use
    • Equity Indicators
  • By creating a matrix of this information, we identified combinations of crash factors and contextual variables for which crashes were overrepresented in the dataset. These combinations are titled “crash profiles.”
  • The team identified 20 crash profiles: 10 profiles were specific to combinations of crash factors/geographic characteristics common within Equity Emphasis Areas and 10 were combinations of crash factors/geographic characteristics common throughout the entire County.
  • See here(PDF, 270KB) for detailed methodology documentation. 

What’s next?

  • The next step to enhance safety across all “potentially at-risk locations” is to inventory and assess conditions on all segments to ensure that they meet current County standards for signage, pavement markings, and pedestrian ramps.
  • During this inventory staff will also assess the potential for further safety measures from Arlington’s Multimodal Safety Engineering Toolbox and program those additional safety updates, as well.
  • Due to the high volume of roadways to be assessed and considered for systemic improvement, the County will begin by inventorying, reviewing, and implementing improvements within the Equity Emphasis Areas.
  • Once all potentially at-risk locations are reviewed in Equity Emphasis Areas, the team will assess next steps for Countywide application.
  • Look out for the results of the Equity Emphasis Areas inventory and assessment in late 2023 along with communications about the resulting systemic improvements through the Vision Zero Listserv and on the Vision Zero Systemic Safety Improvements page - coming soon.

How will these changes be communicated to the community?

  • Once the work plan for upgrading all crossings and intersections within Equity Emphasis Areas is ready to implement, the County’s communications team will inform the community about upcoming changes.
  • While the changes may be minimum in scale (mostly signage and marking improvements), the advanced community outreach will let residents know what types of changes to anticipate over the course of several months in their neighborhood and educate community members about the positive safety impacts of such changes in the neighborhood.

How often will we do this analysis?

  • Future analysis is currently not identified.
  • This robust geospatial systemic safety analysis was the first of its kind for Arlington County. While the analysis effectively led to a work plan for necessary safety upgrades throughout the County focused on “potentially at-risk areas,” we identified a list of considerations and recommendations that we will utilize for future geospatial systemic analysis in the future to ensure that the analysis and actions are fine-tuned and actionable within a reasonable timeframe and budget.


2017-2019 Systemic Crash Analysis

Arlington County staff reviewed all critical crashes – those resulting in serious or fatal injuries to one or more people involved – in detail over three-year reporting period from 2017 to 2019. There were 178 critical crashes in Arlington during this time period, out of a total of 7,549 reported crashes.

When we focused our analysis on critical crashes by mode, we learned that:

  • While crashes involving pedestrians make up only about 5% of all crashes, pedestrian crashes make up almost a quarter of critical crashes and over half of fatal crashes. This data affirms that when a pedestrian is involved in a crash, their injury is much more likely to be severe.
  • Similarly, motorcycles made up lonely 1% of all crashes but over 13% of serious crashes
  • Bicyclists made up about 2% of all reported crashes but 8% of serious crashes.

It is important that our Vision Zero program focuses on these vulnerable road users like pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists, because they are more likely to sustain a serious or fatal injury if there is a crash.

Staff also identified common factors involved in critical crashes:

  • Only about 8% of all crashes involved alcohol, but almost half of fatal crashes involved alcohol – showing that drinking and driving has a large impact on the severity of a crash.
  • While there are fewer people on the road at night, we found that over half of fatal crashes occurred after dark.
  • Speeding and turns were also common circumstances that played a role in serious or fatal crashes.

All this information helps us to understand where to prioritize our efforts to reduce the number of severe or fatal crashes in the County.

2017-2019 Systemic Critical Crash Analysis Report (PDF)


Hot Spot Analysis

Under Action Item A3: Annual Crash Analysis, the Vision Zero Action Plan states that the Vision Zero will perform hot spot reviews of all reported crashes to identify individual intersections or locations that experience high numbers of crashes with the target to implement quick-build crash mitigation measures.

Hot spots are identified for vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian crashes. County staff review each location and identify/add safety improvements that will reduce crashes. Click the links below to learn more about past and upcoming hot spot work:

To track safety at hot spots over time, the Vision Zero team maintains an inventory of hot spots, including crash data and applied treatments. The team will assess improvements at each hot spot during each year’s annual crash review to ensure the treatments implemented effectively reduce crashes at the hot spot.

Critical Crash Review & Response

Under Action Item A5: Critical Crash Reviews, the Vision Zero Action Plan states that the Vision Zero will review and evaluate critical crashes (those that result in a severe or fatal injury) to identify actions for quick response. Arlington police, state police, transportation engineers/planners, public health representatives, and a County manager representative participate in a quarterly, interdisciplinary review of all critical crashes (more immediate reviews occur for fatal crashes). The reviews result in subsequent action items (engineering, education, or enforcement based), which are tracked in Vision Zero mid-year and annual reports

When there is a critical (severe or fatal injury) crash, EMS and police immediately respond to the scene. Following the crash, there is an active investigation. During the investigation period, police interview witnesses, collect evidence, and make next of kin family notifications. Transportation engineers conduct preliminary reviews of the site location to identify potential safety issues and improvements. It is important that all facts are confirmed to ensure the County's response adequately addresses all present and potential safety issues. Once the active investigation closes, police finalize the crash report/charges, the interdisciplinary team finalizes next steps, and action occurs as soon as possible. The following flow chart illustrates this critical crash response process. 

critical crash response.JPG