Traffic Safety


To provide a transportation system where everyone arrives to their destinations free from injury.

Magnitude of the Problem

Traffic crashes are a significant source of injury-related mortaltiy in Hawaii, accounting for over 100 deaths each year (about 14% of the total). About half (48%) of the decedents were occupants of cars or trucks, 22% were motorcyclists or moped riders, 28% pedestrians, and the remaining 2% were bicyclists. There were no consistent trends in the annual number of deaths for any of the modes over the 2013 to 2017 period. More detailed information was available for the 90% of decedents who were linked to FARS data from NHTSA. Impaired driving was a major factor, as 30% of the deaths were associated with alcohol-impaired driving, 29% with drug-impaired driving, and nearly half (47%) with either type of impairment. The latter proportion varied annually only between 41% and 53%, demonstrating the persistence of impaired driving. Lack of use of safety equipment was also prevalent, as nearly half (44%) of the car/truck occupants were not using seat belts at the time of the crash, and more than one-third (35%) of the motorcycle/moped riders were not wearing a helmet. (These proportions exclude 33% of decedents with no data on safety equipment.) There were strong associations between use of substances (alcohol or drugs) and non-use of safety equipment. Similar to suicides, residents of Oahu had significantly lower traffic-related mortality or morbidity rates than residents of any of the other 3, more rural, counties in Hawaii. Traffic crashes also cause nearly 6,000 nonfatal injuries which require treatment in Hawaii hospitals each year, including about 670 (11%) that result in hospital admissions. About two-thirds (64%) of these are injuries to car and truck occupants. However, more vulnerable road users (motorcycle and moped riders, pedestrians and bicyclists) constitute 54% of the admitted patients. There were decreasing trends in nonfatal injuries to motocycle and moped riders and pedestrians, and an increasing trend in bicyclists injured in traffic crashes.

Long-Term Indicators

Mortality and morbidity of Hawaii residents only: County & Totals, annual number and rate (/100,000)


SMART Objective: Decrease the 5-year motor vehicle mortality rate among Hawaii Residents from 34.93/100,000 in 2013-2017 to 31.437/100,000 by 2018-2022


SMART Objective: Decrease the 5-year motor vehicle related morbidity rate among Hawaii Residents from 2087.74/100,000 in 2013-2017 to 1,878.96/100,000 by 2018-2022

Annual Fatal and Nonfatal Trends

Recommended Strategies

The Emergency Medical Service and Injury Prevention System Branch (EMSIPSB) places a priority on having injury prevention strategies recommended by a community-driven action plan or informed by key implementing partners. Because a multitude of factors influence individual behavior, the strategies in the below table target risk and protective factors, framed across the individual, relationship, community, and policy levels.

Key Partners