This document was created by the Division of State Patrol Bureau of Transportation Safety and Technical Services (BOTSTS). The data is based on three-year (2018 - 2020) trends.

The intention of this document is to assist Traffic Safety Commissions to examine their own transportation safety issues within their respective county and to identify potential countermeasures. While these crash and driver behavior trends are examined at the county level, these trends can be examined at a more local level. BOTSTS can provide this analysis and data to your local municipality.

For requests, email BOTSTS at

Zero in Wisconsin

WisDOT has adopted Zero in Wisconsin, the belief that no one should be killed or seriously injured from using the road network. The aim of Zero in Wisconsin (otherwise known as Safe System, Vision Zero or Sustainable Safety) is for a world free from road fatalities and serious injuries.
The Haddon Matrix (below) models basic principles to be applied to safety analysis. Each cell of the matrix represents a different area in which countermeasures can be implemented to improve traffic safety. Countermeasures applied to the pre-crash phase are designed to reduce the number of crashes. Countermeasures that are applied to the crash phase would not stop the crash, but could reduce the number or severity of injuries that occur as a result. Countermeasures focusing on the post-crash phase optimize the outcome for people with injuries, and prevent secondary events. Learn more about this approach at the Federal Highway Administration and Zero in Wisconsin.

Transportation Safety

Alcohol and Drug-Impaired Driving

In Marathon County, 58 people are injured or killed in a crash involving a driver believed to be impaired by drugs or alcohol, in an average year. That is 19% of all persons killed in a crash. Statewide, this is 33% of all persons killed.

While 71% of drivers believed to be impaired by drugs or alcohol are male.

Hotspots of alcohol and drug-related crashes with an injury or fatality (2018 - 2020)

Distracted Driving

In Marathon County, a driver being distracted is listed as a contributing factor in 13% of injury and fatal crashes. Statewide, this is 12% of injury and fatal crashes. Distracted driving is based on a two-year (2019-2020) trend due to a change in data fields. Below shows the breakdown of the factors in these distracted driving crashes.

Occupant Protection

Statewide seatbelt usage has been increasing over the past two decades. This past year experienced a usage rate of 89.2%, which is based on an annual seatbelt survey. Occupants not wearing a seatbelt are more likely to suffer a serious injury or fatality. Of the total statewide occupant fatalities, 1 out of 3 were not wearing a seatbelt. Statewide seatbelt usage rate reached an all time high in 2019.

People in your community can conduct their own seatbelt survey via the ‘Local Seatbelt Survey’ in the app store.

Bicyclist and Pedestrian Safety

In the last 3 years in Marathon County, 44 cyclists and 75 pedestrians were killed or injured in 106 crashes. The below two bar charts shows the contributing factors and where these crashes occurred.

A bike or pedestrian crash is more likely to happen in an urban area, however, a fatal or serious injury crash is more likely to occur in a rural area due to higher speeds and due to further distance from a trauma center.

Locations of injury and fatal bicycle crashes

Locations of injury and fatal pedestrian crashes

Motorcycle Safety

In the last 3 years in Marathon County, 91 motorcyclists were killed or injured. Of these, 41% were not wearing a helmet.

Locations of injury and fatal motorcycle crashes

The type of helmet and other safety equipment worn, such as protective gear and gloves, can also impact the type of injury sustained.

85 motorcycle drivers were involved in a fatal or injury crash. 99% were Wisconsin drivers. Of these, 32% did not have a valid M endorsement.

Teen and Older Drivers

In Marathon County, teen or older drivers make up 23% of drivers involved in a fatal or injury crash. Statewide, this is 19% of drivers in fatal and injury crashes.

Breaking this down for Marathon County:

  • 431 teen drivers make up 10% of drivers involved in a crash and make up 5% of licensed drivers and

  • 641 older drivers make up 15% of drivers involved a crash and make up 21% of licensed drivers.

Locations of injury and fatal crashes involving a teen driver Locations of injury and fatal crashes involving an older driver

Lane Departure Crashes