Emerging Issues and Data


Flexibility and forward thinking are critical components of strategic visioning. Because the North Carolina landscape of technology, research, and social behavior can change quickly, it is essential that a multiyear plan such as this can address new issues and opportunities that will arise in the future. The role and importance of traffic safety data have increased in recent years as data-driven decision-making has become the norm. Quality data related to crashes, roadway characteristics, driver characteristics, vehicles, citations, and injuries provide the backbone for all safety management efforts—including the implementation of this SHSP. Accurate, complete, and timely data are needed not only to guide safety decisions and endeavors but also to assess the effectiveness of past and ongoing efforts.

Notable Facts

  • Only 70 percent of crashes in North Carolina are reported electronically, even though electronic reporting requires less manpower and results in more timely availability of crash data.

Emphasis Area Goals

This emphasis area has two goals. The first goal is to improve the State’s data and data systems in support of the SHSP goal to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on North Carolina’s roadways. The second goal is to use the improved data to identify and address safety concerns and additional emphasis areas that emerge as the SHSP is implemented and the State moves toward the 2030 goal.


  • Improve the quality and usefulness of crash data.
  • Improve the completeness and accuracy of roadway inventory data.
  • Improve driver record data.
  • Increase the State’s ability to use existing traffic safety data.
  • Accommodate new issues that emerge in the field of highway safety.

Indicators of Progress

  • Percent of crashes reported electronically.
  • Percent of roadway miles in linear referencing system (LRS).

 Potential Implementing Agencies

  • Advocacy groups
  • Law enforcement
  • North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
  • North Carolina Department of Transportation
  • North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles
  • Traffic Records Coordinating Committee
See Appendix D for the Emerging Issues and Data Action Plan.