HONOLULU – The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation (HDOT) is providing year-to-date traffic fatality statistics for 2023 as it continues to promote responsible driving habits to keep our roads safe. As of December 13, 2023, 92 fatalities caused by motor vehicle collisions were reported statewide. This is a decrease from the 112 lives lost at this time in 2022.
HDOT found that driving behavior in Hawaiʻi is improving, according to information gathered by a Statewide Attitudinal and Behavior Survey. The survey presented data showing a decrease in speeding among drivers, a decrease in DUIs from truck drivers, and an increase in people opting to get into a vehicle with a sober driver. See below for general survey results.
While we have seen improvement in overall driving behavior, the number of fatalities by motorcycle collisions has been consistently high for multiple years. In 2023, there have been 27 motorbike-related fatalities to date, and an increase in DUIs and speeding. This death toll makes up 29% of all traffic-related fatalities and equates to a little more than two deaths each month.
Tragically, there have been 9 bicyclist fatalities this year, which is the highest recorded number of deaths among bicyclists in Hawaii. According to those surveyed, bike and e-bike ridership along with the use of lights and bright clothing increased, yet the use of helmets and hand signals has decreased.
Bikers face the greatest risk on the road, as a bike does not provide an outer barrier to protect the user, nor does it have safety features as cars do. HDOT urges all motorists to be thoughtful and practice safe driving when next to a biker, as even a slight collision could be fatal. Motorists should be checking mirrors and blind spots frequently allowing for adequate following distance, and always using signals before making a turn or changing lanes. Riders may also minimize risk by wearing high-visibility protective gear, using their lane position to see or be seen, and by maintaining a safe speed.
Driving a vehicle is one of the most dangerous things people participate in daily, so applying these positive driving behaviors will keep you and your loved ones safe: Allow for people to make mistakes; be willing to share the road with other drivers; put down all distractions, and plan for ample travel time to avoid the need to speed.
HDOT thanks the public for its ongoing efforts and awareness toward highway safety. As we enter the new year, HDOT encourages all who use the road to stay vigilant with responsible driving and continue to be respectful to everyone on the road.