Crash Facts

Public Health

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What you need to know

Motor vehicle crashes are a chief cause of death in the United States. More than 30,000 people die each year. The number of traffic-related deaths in Nebraska has gone down since the 1970s. However, since 2011 these deaths have increased.

There are factors that play a part in motor vehicle crashes and their injury outcomes. The goal of the Nebraska Crash Outcomes Data Evaluation System (CODES) program is to better understand what these factors are.

CODES links and analyzes data from motor vehicle crashes to data from emergency medical services, hospitals, and death outcomes. Using linked data makes it possible to see the effects of crashes, in order to better inform traffic safety education efforts.

CODES is a joint effort between the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and the Nebraska Department of Transportation Office of Highway Safety.

Data and Reports

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is any activity that takes your attention away from the main task of driving. Research has shown that using a cell phone (hand-held or hands-free) while driving delays a driver's reaction as much as driving drunk. Text messaging while driving increases the risk of a crash by 23 times.

Distracted Driving

Impaired Driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs kills thousands of people every year. The measures below have helped to reduce alcohol and drug related traffic deaths:

  • High-visibility enforcement
  • DWI courts
  • Changes in laws

Drinking and Driving

Seat Belt use Among Drinking Drivers

Alcohol Related Crashes

Seat Belts and Occupant Protection

Seat belts, booster seats, and car seats are some of the most effective steps you can take to prevent injury and death in a crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that seat belts reduce the risk of death among front-seat occupants of passenger cars by 45 percent. Seat belts also reduce the risk of moderate to critical injury by 50 percent.

Seat Belt Use

Seat Belt use Among Drinking Drivers

Seat Belts and Crash Cost


Speeding is a danger to public safety and is a factor in as many as 1 in 3 of all fatal crashes. Speed related crashes also result in many injuries


Motorcycle Safety

Motorcycle deaths make up about 15 percent of all highway deaths each year in the United States. However, motorcycles only make up about 3 percent of all registered vehicles. We can link motorcycle crashes to several causes:

  • Lack of basic riding skills
  • Not using special precautions​
  • Not following speed limits
  • Not wearing a helmet. Helmets reduce deaths in crashes by about 37 percent.

Interactive Motorcycle Dashboard

Helmet Use

Motorcycle Injuries and Fatalities


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Customized factsheets can be requested by contacting us.

Ming Qu, PhD.
Senior Epidemiologist/Data Scientist​​
Office of Injury Surveillance
Epidemiology and Informatics Unit
Division of Public Health
Phone Number
(402) 471-0566​
Mailing Address
301 Centennial Mall South
Lincoln, Nebraska 68509