Data: How are we doing?
Vision Zero Crash Data Dashboard
To get the data on this dashboard, the VDOT Crash Analysis Tool was used to filter down to show crashes only for the City of Norfolk and crashes only on Norfolk streets (VDOT-owned roads were removed). The dashboard shows crash data in Norfolk from January 1, 2015 through May 31, 2022.
The images below are heat maps for all crashes (fatal and non-fatal) in 2021 shown separately for bike crashes (left), pedestrian crashes (middle), and vehicle only crashes (right). Through these maps, we can identify hot spots for each type of crash. This is important to show because where there are persistent issues for vehicles might be different than where there are persistent issues for bikes and pedestrians.
Bicycle crashes along the existing bike network
The map on the right shows bicycle crashes for 2016-2020 along existing bike facilities (bike lanes, sharrows/shared lane markings, and the Elizabeth River Trail). The total number of bicycle crashes reported within this 5-year period is 182. Of these, 27 crashes were on the bike network - 14 occurred on streets with sharrows/shared lane markings, 3 occurred in buffered bike lanes, and 10 were in unbuffered bike lanes. Most of the bicycle crashes reported (155) occurred outside of the bike network with 108 of these crashes occurring at intersections. This illustrates the importance of bike treatments at intersections as well as the overall safety benefits of bike lanes. Additionally, 44 of all bicycle crashes occurred at night.
Looking at the Norfolk Bicycle & Pedestrian Strategic Plan corridors, there were 63 bicycle crashes that occurred with the following breakdown:
- Corridor 1: Olney Rd. - Hospitals to Norfolk State University = 0 crashes
- Corridor 2: Llewellyn Ave. and Lower Granby St. & Boush St. Alternatives = 9 crashes
- Corridor 3: Granby St. - Willow Wood Dr. to Ocean View Ave. = 6 crashes
- Corridor 4: Harbor Park and Tide Station to Five Points = 0 crashes
- Corridor 5: Downtown-Old Dominion University-Naval Station Connector = 15 crashes
- Corridor 6: Indian River Road - South Norfolk Connector = 1 crash
- Corridor 7: Cromwell Drive and Robin Hood Road Cross-City Connector = 5 crashes
- Corridor 8: Cape Henry Trail Interim Route = 3 crashes
- Corridor 9: Southside Bikeways = 0 crashes
- Corridor 10: Ocean View Avenue and Shore Drive East-West Connector = 8 crashes
- Corridor 11: Ingleside Road Tide Station to Airport via Azalea Garden Road = 5 crashes
- Corridor 12: Sewells Point Road and Chesapeake Boulevard Bikeway = 11 crashes
Top driver contributing factors for fatal crashes in Virginia and Norfolk in 2021
In 2021, the total number of fatal crashes recorded in Virginia was 968 (up from 771 in 2019) with speeding being the top driver contributing factor for all fatal crashes. According to the 2021 Virginia Traffic Crash Fact Report, 45.9% of all fatalities recorded in Virginia in 2021 were speeding related.
The total number of fatal crashes recorded in Norfolk in 2021 was 28 (up from 24 in 2019) with alcohol and speed being the top driver contributing factors for all fatal crashes. 46.4% of all fatalities were alcohol related and 42.8% were speeding related. Vehicle speed increases both the likelihood of a crash, as well as the severity of the crash, as it diminishes a driver’s ability to recognize and avoid potential conflicts. (Source: 2021 Virginia Traffic Crash Facts)
Norfolk Commuter Modes in 2019 and 2021
In 2019, the total number of commuters recorded in Norfolk was 131,994 with 73.4% of commuters traveling by car (driving alone). Commuting on foot (8.3%) ranked higher than commuting by transit (4.4%) and both modes ranked higher than commuting by bike (0.9%).
In 2021, the total number of commuters in Norfolk was 127,369 with 69.8% of commuters traveling by car (driving alone). Teleworking (11.6%) ranked the next highest. Commuting on foot, by transit, and by bike saw a decrease from 2019 making up 5.2%, 2.9%, and 0.6% of commuters, respectively. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey)
Norfolk Deaths by Transportation Mode in 2019 and 2021
In 2019, the total number of fatal crashes recorded in Norfolk was 24 with 63% of these crashes involving vehicles only. Fatal crashes involving pedestrians ranked next making up 25% of the recorded fatalities. There were no recorded bike fatalities in 2019.
In 2021, the total number of fatal crashes recorded in Norfolk was 27 with 41% of these crashes involving vehicles only. Fatal crashes involving pedestrians ranked next making up 33% of the recorded fatalities. Fatal crashes involving bicycles ranked last making up only 4% of recorded fatalities. (Source: VDOT Crash Analysis Tool)
In 2019, 22.5% of all recorded pedestrian crashes were fatal and serious injuries. For vehicles, 8% of all vehicle-only crashes involved fatalities and serious injuries. There were no fatal crashes recorded for bikes in 2019. However, 12% of all recorded bike crashes resulted in serious injuries.
In 2021, the percent of fatal and serious injury crashes for pedestrians, bikes, and vehicles only were 29%, 28%, and 9%, respectively. These statistics highlight how pedestrians and cyclists are Norfolk’s most vulnerable road users with pedestrians suffering the highest rates of fatal and serious injury crashes.
Fatal crashes per 100,000 population 2016-2020
Fatal crashes per 100,000 population in Norfolk between 2016 and 2020, 7.3 and 10.5 respectively, have been relatively low compared to other similarly sized cities. Norfolk’s numbers also fall below the national number of fatal crashes per 100,000. However, since 2019, the gap between Norfolk's numbers and the national numbers has been shrinking. The graph below compares fatal crashes in Norfolk to four cities with similar populations as well as with the U.S. (Population data source: U.S. Census Bureau Annual Estimates of Resident Population; Crash data source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration/FARS)
Bike and Pedestrian Trip Counts
The City of Norfolk initiated a Bike-Pedestrian Counter Program in March 2021 to provide a reliable method of data collection. This data will be used to advance the goal of making biking and walking more comfortable and more connected in Norfolk by better understanding the trends of pedestrians and cyclists in the city. The City aims to use the bike-pedestrian counters to support the expansion of bike lanes.
The first phase of counter installations focused on 15 existing bike lane locations. The second phase of counter installations will focus on other existing bike lane locations as well as new bike lanes implemented according to the Multimodal Transportation Master Plan and the City of Norfolk Bicycle and Pedestrian Strategic Plan.
Learn more about Norfolk's Bike-Pedestrian Counter Program and view the Bike and Pedestrian Trip Counts dataset on the Norfolk Open Data portal.