Stats and Facts Dane County In Numbers Safe Communities Madison-Dane County coordinates county-wide, collaborative campaigns with organizations and individuals that have a significant interest and investment in safety. SUICIDE PREVENTION FALLS PREVENTION TRAFFIC SAFETY DRUG POISONING

Safe Communities Facts & Stats

Safety is our #1 Priority

Drug Poisoning is now Dane County’s number one cause of injury death, surpassing traffic accidents. Misuse or abuse of prescription, over-the-counter or illicit drugs cause 85% of poisoning deaths.

Unintentional injuries are the number one cause of death for children under age 14 – each a terrible loss for affected families and our community.

Elderly Falls are the top cause of injury-related deaths among older adults – and one alarming trend is that Dane County’s elderly population have more falls than the national average.

Traffic crashes kill an average of 60 people each year in Dane County. The vast majority of these deaths could have been prevented through use of safety belts and avoidance of speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Suicides occur in 40-50 Dane County residents each year, and more than 500 others are hospitalized or admitted to emergency departments after a suicide attempt. Of those who complete suicide, 90% have a treatable mental illness or substance abuse problem. These tragedies can be prevented with treatment, education and support.In Madison and Dane County, serious injuries are far too common and have tragic consequences.

In one year, hospital charges alone resulting from injuries sustained by Madison and Dane County residents were nearly $54.5 million. This figure excludes doctor bills, nursing home care, rehabilitation services, lost wages, and other injury-related costs.

It is difficult for one agency alone to address the staggering human and financial toll taken by injuries. A coordinated, community-wide effort that draws resources and expertise from diverse people and agencies is needed. This is why the work of Safe Communities is so vital.

Our Future Is Strong

The partnerships built by Safe Communities have created a safer community, with more opportunities for education and awareness. We continue to envision a safer future for the people who live in Madison and Dane County, with instances of unnecessary deaths and serious injuries are infrequent, rather than a daily occurrence.


Our Accomplishments

  • Launched a nationally recognized initiative to reduce Dane County’s epidemic of drug overdoses
  • Increased safety belt use in rural Dane county 4%
  • Increased motorists yielding to pedestrians at pilot intersections by 30%
  • Installed 50 pedestrian flag holders at crosswalks in areas of Dane County with high instances of pedestrian and motorist traffic
  • Earned media coverage of our local Slow Down Yard Sign Campaign in Parent’s Magazine
  • Partnered with Innocorp, Ltd. on its Green Yellow Red Campaign to reduce impaired motorcycling-a project touted as a promising national model
  • Reduced serious falls among older adults by 10% over 3 years with the Safe Communities Falls Prevention Task Force
  • Collected over 6 tons of unwanted and unused medicines through our MedDrop partnership
  • Trained hundreds of Dane County residents to help someone they know survive a suicidal crisis
  • As part of Safe Communities’ coordinated effort to stop the drug overdose epidemic, a committed team of parents, law enforcement and treatment providers developed a model on-line resource directory, the Parent Addiction Network. This is a ‘one-stop-shop’ of treatment and recovery resources, the Parent Addiction Network ( includes information on signs and symptoms of drug abuse, treatment, insurance, legal issues, overdose, recovery and support for family and friends of people in the grip of addiction.
  • Safe Communities Health Care Task Force on Opioids, a partnership of all Dane County health care systems working collaboratively to reduce opioid overdose and related deaths, hosted one of only 10 SCOPE of Pain trainings held nationally in 2013. SCOPE of Pain is designed to help clinicians safely and effectively manage patients with chronic pain, when appropriate, with opioid analgesics.
  • Designated in Dane County as a national-demonstration-project-central; only one of the few counties in the nation to be site of three NHTSA demonstration projects to develop best practices in traffic safety.