The number of personal injury accidents on Carmel roads declined between 2015 and 2016, despite an increase in population, according to the Carmel Police Dept. Preliminary numbers show that 2017 is on pace to decrease even more.
This continues a trend in Carmel going back to 1996. There were 216 personal injury accidents that year for a city with a population of 31,808. In 2016, there were 215 personal injury accidents for a population of 91,374. Per capita, Carmel has seen a 44 percent decrease in accidents the past 20 years, going from a rate of 0.68 percent to 0.24 percent.
“These numbers are huge,” Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said. “Our population has tripled, but the injury accidents have actually gone down.”
Brainard took office in 1996, and he attributes the decrease in the accident rate to the city’s investment in roundabouts. The first one was built after Brainard took office, and today there are more than 100. Dozens more are planned. Brainard said roundabouts decrease injury accidents because they virtually eliminate the possibility of head-on collisions.
According to the CPD report, fatal accidents have remained steady at one or two per year, although the population has increased. Property damage accidents have increased every year, but they have remained consistent with the city’s population growth, hovering around 2.5 percent.
As of June 29, Brainard said Carmel had 101 personal accident injuries for 2017. The total is on pace to be lower than 2016, he said.
Brainard said Indianapolis has remained consistent with a personal injury accident rate of about 0.60 percent, which was similar to Carmel’s rate in 1996.
“Today, you’re three times as likely to have a personal injury accident in Indianapolis than Carmel,” Brainard said.