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 – We lose  60-80 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 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
  • 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