Emphasis Areas

The goals of the Plan will be achieved through the implementation of strategies and actions in nine safety emphasis areas. These emphasis areas represent the greatest opportunity for the safety stakeholders to focus their efforts to achieve the goals of this Plan.  The safety stakeholders selected these emphasis areas cooperatively through a data-driven approach, noting that many individual crashes can be attributed to more than one emphasis area.  For example, a crash may involve speeding, intersection safety, and occupant protection.  Therefore, these emphasis areas provide an opportunity to address crashes from multiple perspectives.

The following links present a summary of the strategies and actions for each of the nine emphasis areas:

  1. Demographic Considerations
  2. Driving While Impaired
  3. Emerging Issues and Data
  4. Intersection Safety
  5. Keeping Drivers Alert
  6. Lane Departure
  7. Occupant Protection/Motorcycles
  8. Pedestrians and Bicyclists
  9. Speed

To achieve the Plan’s goals to reduce fatalities and serious injuries by half and to move North Carolina closer to Vision Zero, significant reductions are needed in each emphasis area.

In general, the goal for each emphasis area is to reduce fatalities and injuries by half.  Some emphasis areas present a greater opportunity to reduce fatalities and serious injuries than others.  Factors such as trends in exposure rates and the availability of effective strategies are different for each emphasis area and affect the opportunity to reduce fatalities and serious injuries.  For example, several lane departure strategies are known to be effective at reducing crashes on North Carolina’s roads; their increased implementation presents an opportunity to greatly reduce fatalities and serious injuries.  Conversely, because motorcycle ridership is increasing in North Carolina, crash reductions from effective strategies must outpace the growth in crashes that is attributed to the increased ridership (e.g., exposure).

Overall, the strategies in the emphasis areas work collectively toward the Plan goal, with some emphasis areas expected to contribute more reductions in fatalities and serious injuries than others.


The strategies and actions for each of the nine emphasis areas chart the way forward and must be implemented to meet the goals of this Plan. Continue reading about Plan Implementation.