Traffic Fatalities

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Vision Zero SF

Calendar Year 2018
Target: Zero traffic fatalities by 2024

Calendar Year 2017
Result: 20 traffic fatalities

This metric measures the number of traffic fatalities occurring in the City and County of San Francisco. Historically, every year in San Francisco about 30 people lose their lives and over 200 people are seriously injured while travelling on city streets. Vision Zero, adopted as a city policy in 2014, is San Francisco’s commitment to eliminating traffic deaths on our streets by 2024. Through building better and safer streets, educating the public on traffic safety, enforcing traffic laws and adopting policy changes, we can save the lives of all road users — people who walk, bike, drive, or ride public transit. Achieving Vision Zero requires leadership and commitment from City agencies, elected officials, community stakeholders, the public and the private sector to find the right solutions for San Francisco.

The chart below shows traffic fatalities by calendar year. For the most up to date reports, news, and other data on Vision Zero, refer to the official Vision Zero SF web page.


- The scorecard tally and chart above currently exclude two deaths that are pending determination of cause of death from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. The two incidents (a cyclist collision on June 25, 2016 and a driver collision on December 23, 2016) will be added to the scorecard and chart if they are confirmed to meet the criteria for traffic fatalities.
- Annual counts are presented here on a calendar year basis to be consistent with official Vision Zero SF reporting.
- Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) was used to report traffic deaths from 2009-2012, restricting to San Francisco City and County jurisdiction, including streets that intersect with freeways.
- Traffic deaths from 2013 are reported by the San Francisco Police Department.
- Traffic deaths from 2014 and 2015 are reported using the Vision Zero Traffic Fatality Protocol based on data from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and SFPD, but exclude 3 pedestrian light rail vehicle (LRV)-related deaths, which are not routinely reported to SWITRS, to ensure comparability between data.

How San Francisco is Performing

The number of annual fatalities is subject to year-to-year fluctuations and a high degree of random variation, limiting the ability to draw statistically meaningful trends on an annual basis. San Francisco will continue to monitor traffic fatalities and injuries to evaluate the success of Vision Zero strategies, policies, and investments. A key component of transportation safety monitoring has been accurate and timely reporting of traffic fatalities, which has been successfully implemented in 2015 as outlined in the San Francisco Vision Zero Traffic Fatality Protocol. As indicated in the protocol, representatives from the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH), San Francisco Police Department (SFPD), and the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency (SFMTA) meet monthly to reconcile the previous month’s traffic deaths using Office of the Medical Examiner’s and SFPD data. This coordinated method, which has proven successful for standardizing data collection and reporting for fatalities, will be expanded to track severe traffic injuries, providing additional valuable metrics to measure Vision Zero’s progress.

When the City and County of San Francisco adopted Vision Zero as a policy in 2014, it committed to building better and safer streets, educating the public on traffic safety, enforcing traffic laws, and adopting policy changes that save lives. The goal is to create a culture that prioritizes traffic safety and to ensure that mistakes on our roadways do not result in serious injuries or death. The result of this collaborative, citywide effort will be safer, more livable streets as the city works to eliminate traffic fatalities by 2024.

The City issued its second Vision Zero Two-Year Action Strategy in March 2017, outlining the initiatives city departments will take to advance Vision Zero through safe streets, safe people, and safe vehicles. The City's first Vision Zero Two-Year Action Strategy was issued in February 2015 and included goals in engineering, enforcement, education, evaluation, and policy. The timely, accurate and routine reporting and mapping of traffic fatalities is critical in evaluating the progress of Vision Zero for analyzing trends and spatial patterns over time and identifying the work prioritized in the Action Strategy.

How Performance is Measured

As defined in the Vision Zero Traffic Fatality Protocol, representatives from SFDPH, SFMTA, and SFPD meet on a monthly basis to reconcile transportation-related fatalities as reported from two primary data sources, the Office of Chief Medical Examiner and the SFPD. This routine process ensures that a standardized case definition is applied to all traffic fatalities and that there is consistency in reporting across all city agencies. Traffic fatalities are reported by mode (people walking, biking, driving, motorcycling, and riding in a vehicle) and are compared to the same month in the previous year to provide a concise snapshot of the mortality burden in San Francisco.

The number displayed on the scorecard page represents a fiscal year total of the values in the chart above.

Additional Information


Please visit DataSF for the scorecard data.