In a year when homicides decreased, vehicular deaths increased
The number of traffic-related deaths counted by the DC medical examiner increased from 45 in 2015 to 58 in 2016, all of which were classified as accidents.
However, this data is not specific to only DC, as the DC medical examiner’s office also investigates deaths for Virginia and Maryland. From 2015 to date, there have been 122 traffic-related fatalities, of which DC accounts for 57.
Data obtained from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner through a Freedom of Information request shows that of the total cases, 3 victims were cyclists, 50 were the driver of the vehicle, 19 were passengers, 47 were pedestrians and three were unknown or otherwise classified.
Because of guidelines set by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Statistics, the Metropolitan Police Department does not have to count traffic-related deaths as homicides. This increase in vehicular-related deaths was the opposite of DC’s homicide numbers which trended downward from 2015 to 2016. To date, DC Witness has been able to find out details of 48 non-homicide deaths investigated by MPD. Of the 48 deaths, 15 deaths involved a pedestrian fatality, and 21 people died in a traffic fatality. An additional 11 were killed in police involved shootings. The remaining death is still under investigation.
Thamar Bailey contributed to this report.