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See Statistics on Crash Types, Injuries on Mill Street

By Tom Marino | June 23, 2024
Last Updated: June 24, 2024

WORCESTER – After a lengthy discussion during the Worcester City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 18, councilors voted to reject changing the current configuration of Mill Street for six months after full implementation. City Manager Eric Batista and Transportation and Mobility Commissioner Stephen Rolle said the city intends to add additional signage and flex poles to the area.

A report from Interim Chief of Police Paul Saucier presented at the same meeting reported 20 crashes on the stretch of road from 195 Mill Street to the intersection of Mill Street and Chandler Street from Dec. 1, 2023, when the city completed the current configuration, to June 12, 2024.

Saucier also reported that from Dec. 1 through June 12 the number of crashes annually averaged 19.6 since 2016. Saucier excluded December to June 12 in both 2019 to 2020, and 2020 to 2021, as overall crashes in the city during the pandemic dropped considerably.

Several residents and observers have said they wanted additional information about the type of crashes that occurred in the area.

This Week in Worcester extracted data using the MassDOT Crash Portal to provide a broader look at the data cataloged by the agency.

Here are the monthly and yearly totals in the data extracted for this report.

 

Readers should note there are differences in the data collected for this article and the data presented by Saucier. The data presented here considers six of eight years from December 1, 2016 to June 20, 2024, showing an average of 19.3 crashes per year. Saucier’s data also considered six of eight years, but from December 2016 to June 12. 2024, showing an average of 19.6 crashes per year.

For this report, data from December 2020 to June 2021, and December 2021 to June 2022, are not considered, as they are clear outliers.

There are multiple reasons that may have led to differences between this data and Saucier’s. Readers can find a review of the differences in the data, and the steps used to extract this data, at the end of this report.

The duration of this report will refer to the year the time period ends. For example, 2017 will refer to December 1, 2016 to June 20, 2017. A reference to 2018 will indicate from December 1, 2017 to June 20, 2018, and so on.

Crash Severity

Some residents expressed an interest in the severity of crashes in the stretch from 195 Mill St. and the intersection of Mill Street and Chandler Street.

The only fatal injury in the data set occurred on Feb, 25, 2024, since implementation of the current design.

In 2019, the number of non-fatal injuries reached a high of seven. The next highest total occurred in 2018 and 2023, with six each. In 2024, the data shows 4 non-fatal injuries reported, the fourth highest of the six years considered.

In cases of property damage without injuries, 2024 ranks third highest.

Maximum Injury Type

This statistic measures the worst injury sustained in a crash. While the only crash with fatal injuries sustained occurred in 2024, there were two deaths in 2016 that were classified as not caused by the crash.

The classifications below have experienced changes as time has passed. The classifications and statistics presented below are as appears in MassDOT’s data.

A second table below combines some of these categories for a more concise review.

The table below provides the total number of seriously injured by adding together the categories “Non-fatal injury – Incapacitating” and “Suspected Serious Injury (A)”

It also provides the total of non-serious injuries by combining “Non-fatal injury – Non-incapacitating,” “Non-fatal injury – Possible,” “Possible Injury (C),” and “Suspected Minor Injury (B).” The fatal injury in 2024 is not represented below,

The total injuries are the sum of the two categories.

The data shows that the year with the highest number of crashes, 2017, led to the fewest number of injuries reported.

In 2024, there have been five total injuries, with one of them serious or incapacitating. The total number of injuries is third lowest, while the number of serious injuries is tied with both 2018 and 2023. The sole fatality represented in the data set, which occurred in 2024, is represented below as serious/ incapacitating.

 

First Harmful Event

MassDOT tracks the first harmful event of each crash to provide what precipitated the crash. For example, if a vehicle crashed with another motor vehicle in traffic, then crashed into a parked car, the event is classified here as a collision with motor vehicle traffic.

There are two clear outliers in 2024. The number of collisions with a parked motor vehicle exceeds all other years by three crashes, with seven total in 2024. That is also far higher than the average of each year in the data set, which is 2.5.

However, the number of collisions with another motor vehicle in traffic dropped dramatically in 2024, with just nine. There were 21 in 2023. Only 2020 saw fewer in this category. In 2020, there were fewer total crashes than in any other year considered.

 

Vulnerable Users

The data considered for this report shows three vulnerable users involved in crashes.

On December 14, 2016, a pedestrian between 55 and 64 years old was in the roadway when struck by a vehicle. Records classify the individual as “walking, running or cycling” when struck near Mill Street and First Street.

On June 1, 2018, a bicyclist between 65 and 74 years old was on the shoulder of a crossing location near 254 Mill Street when struck by a motor vehicle.

On December 25, 2023, a pedestrian between 25 and 34 years old was involved in a crash with a motor vehicle. He was reportedly standing, and not in the roadway, when struck near 539 Mill St.

Manner of Collision

MassDOT also tracks the manner of collision in crashes.

In years prior to 2024, the highest number of crashes were classified as “angle,”  with a high of 10 in 2023, and nine in both 2018 and 2019. Thaat has dropped significantly in 2024 to just three. the lowest number of the six years considered. In 2016, there were four crashes with the same classification. The third highest occurrence was seven in 2022.

In 2024, the number of crashes involving the rear end of vehicles has increased. Crashes classified as “front to rear” increased to four. Only one other crash appears in the data set over the five previous years.

There are also four crashes classified as “rear end” in 2024. That is the third lowest of any year in the data considered.

Differences in Data

The data presented here, extracted on June 20, considers from Dec. 1 to June 20 of each year. Crashes in the area reported on June 14 and June 18, 2023, bring the total for last year to 22 crashes, where Saucier’s data represented to June 12 of each year, and showed 20 for 2023.

Saucier’s data excluded December 2019 to June 12, 2020, and December 2020 to June 20, 2021, due to the decrease in overall crashes in the city in those years during the pandemic.

The data here shows 14 crashes from December to June 2020, 9 in 2021, and 10 in 2022. This presented a problem, as it created a larger deviation from Saucier’s figures. The editorial decision was to exclude the two lowest years in this data set, as this made the crashes per year were closer to Sauciers data.

Saucier’s data showed an average of 19.6 crashes per year. When calculating the average number of crashes per year from Dec. 1 to June 20, excluding 2021 and 2022, there are 117 crashes over six years, an average of 19.5 per year.

We believe this to be the best way to present both an accurate sample of the data available and a sample size closest to Sauciers.

There could be several reasons for the differences. Saucier may have used internal police department data, or may have used the MassDOT Crash Portal, but a different extraction method. The source of Saucier’s data was not revealed in his report. As shown below, a small deviation in use of the tools available for data extraction from the MassDOT Portal can cause varying results.

How this Data Was Extracted

The MassDOT Crash Portal offers multiple tools to extract data. As shown in the screen shot below, the area tool was used, with a 500 foot buffer, to capture crashes from the area of 195 Mill St. up to, but not including, the intersection of Mill Street and Chandler Street.

After exporting the data in a .csv (spreadsheet) Crashes recorded from Dec. 1 to June 20 for each year were removed, while keeping the all the data extracted complete.

Each individual crash record in the data set includes a roadway. Any listing that included Mill Street was including in the final data set. Examples of the records included in the statistics presented above include entries that listed the roadway as “Mill Street/ First Street,” “Chandler Street/ Mill Street,” and Williamsburg Drive/ Mill Street.”

Examples of entries excluded from the statistics above include “Airport Drive,” “Swan Avenue,” “Fourth Street,” and “Second Street.”

From there, the data categories were added together to compile the data above.

MassDOT Crash Portal extraction method

 

Lead Image courtesy of the City of Worcester

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