Kentucky on track to have fewer deadly crashes this year than in 2021

Kentucky on track to have fewer deadly crashes this year than in 2021
Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 5:14 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 6, 2022 at 5:40 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky is making strides when it comes to traffic safety.

During the holiday season, transportation leaders say they see more crashes. Over the last five years, In more than 500 of them, the driver was impaired. However, this year, numbers for the final months of the year so far are lower.

To date, the Commonwealth has recorded 664 fatal crashes. This time last year, there were already 753. Officials with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet say the data is trending lower than the previous few years, and they will continue working on dropping those numbers even lower.

“We have many projects that are in progress right now that will be improving the arteries for our communities, and increasing safety in that fashion,” KYTC public information officer Natasha Lacy said. “We have many projects that are in progress right now that will be improving the arteries for our communities and increasing safety in that fashion.”

KYTC provides weekly traffic reports about crashes, injuries and even deaths to their engineers. This allows them to study and investigate areas of potential improvement.

“We also have different things that we add to increase safety such as rumble strips, delineators and increased and improved signage that is also reflective so there are many ways that we can always improve the safety for the traveling public, and we do that on an ongoing basis,” Lacy said.

Kentucky State Police have frequently hosted traffic safety checkpoints throughout the state. KSP works in conjunction with local city police, and county sheriff’s office’s to help educate the public and prevent a tragedy. They say they are looking for life-saving measures to deter drivers under the influence, stop seatbelt evaders and ensure car seats are correctly installed and in use.

“We are, I think, leveling off, and perhaps we’ll finish out the year with perhaps some better statistics to talk about as far as number of crashes, number of fatalities, and serious injuries,” AAA spokesperson Lori Weaver Hawkins said.

“I tell people during the holidays, don’t drive intoxicated, don’t drive ‘intexticated,’” Hawkins said.

Almost 15% of the Commonwealth’s fatal crashes involved alcohol. It’s a holiday heartbreak that could be avoided.

“That’s not the time for you to worry about your budget, nickel and dimes when you have so much on the line,” Hawkins said. “Go ahead and get that rideshare and schedule that before you head out the door, so you don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the evening.”

While the holiday season should be merry and bright, it’s a price you will pay forever and could change the lives of many if you choose to get behind the wheel after drinking.

The lowest number of fatalities reported in the last decade was in 2013 when the state recorded 638 fatal crashes. AAA expects to release a report on driver behavior trends later this week.