Last Updated: November
Injury Prevention Program Team, Vermont Department of Health
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injury in the US and in Vermont. In 2012, leaders in the pursuit of safer Vermont highways and local roads launched an
initiative to formalize a statewide integrated safety program. This initiative led to the
formation of the Vermont Highway Safety Alliance (VHSA), whose members include a
broad cross section of public and private organizations that represent all users of the State’s
highway system and encompass the 4 E’s of highway safety - Education, Enforcement,
Engineering, and Emergency Services. The VHSA is comprised of a Board of Directors and
five Focus Groups, which include Enforcement, Data, Education, Infrastructure, and
Outreach and Marketing. The VHSA partners are committed to working as a team to
accomplish common goals that promote the safety of motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists,
and all users traveling on Vermont highways.
Vermont has made significant progress in reducing all types of crashes on the State’s
highways since the implementation of the 2006 State Highway Safety Plan (SHSP). Although this downward trend is impressive, major crashes have
consistently accounted for approximately 3% of all crashes. While 3% may seem like a low
number, this percentage translates to an average of 387 people per year losing their life or
incurring life altering injuries on our highways.
Major crashes have the most severe impact on the State as their effects are far reaching and
include the loss of human life. The VHSA has targeted the reduction of major crashes in
the State of Vermont as the primary goal of the SHSP. The plan is intended to follow the
objectives of FHWA’s national effort to improve highway safety known as Toward Zero
Deaths. Similar to the Toward Zero Deaths initiative, the SHSP is a data-driven effort
focusing on identifying and creating opportunities for changing Vermont’s culture as it
relates to highway safety. The success of the SHSP will rely on a team of champions
working together on a myriad of factors surrounding highway safety.
The Vermont Department of Health partners with the Highway Safety Alliance and the Governor's Highway Safety program to target efforts towards Vermont's youngest road users, children under the age of 18. The Department of Health runs the state child passenger safety program which aims to increase and sustain safety seat and seat belt use for children 0–18 and reduce child injury and fatality rates.