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NSP readies for the Deadliest 100 Days of Driving

NSP readies for the Deadliest 100 Days of Driving
NSP readies for the Deadliest 100 Days of Driving(Ellis Wiltsey)
Published: May. 27, 2022 at 6:09 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -It’s a tragic trend seen in Nebraska over the past few weeks, deadly crashes involving teenagers. It’s also a trend groups like law enforcement and highway safety are taking note of and heading into what’s dubbed the Deadliest 100 Days of Driving, and they’re taking action.

According to the Nebraska Department of Transportation, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is statistically when fatal teen crashes increase drastically. It said nationally between 2010 and 2019 over 7,000 people died in teen-related crashes during those summer months. For many first-time drivers and teenagers alike, summer means more freedom, but as the temperatures increase so does the potential for danger.

“We see a lot of kids that have gotten out of school that are possibly new drivers,” said Mark White, Nebraska State Patrol.

In recent weeks there have been multiple fatality crashes involving Nebraska teenagers. Nebraska is back on track to have a 20-year high in traffic fatalities. So far, in 2022, it has recorded 98. This time last year there were 74.

“They need to watch their own driving, put the phone down pay attention to where you’re driving, drive sober and watch out for pedestrians and that goes for all drivers as well,” said Bill Kovarik, Highway Safety Administrator.

To try to get ahead of this over Memorial Day, NSP will be re-upping its annual Click-It or Ticket Campaign. It said an upped presence hopefully re-solidifies the safe driving message going into summer.

“That doesn’t just apply to seatbelt enforcement it’s basically we go out and we work traffic and whatever we come upon is what we’re going to deal with,” White said. “Seatbelts, speeding, drug violations, arrest warrants were gonna be out there working our normal traffic duties but were going to have additional troops out there”

The Highway Safety Council said it’s important to have conversations with your kids. Some of the common themes in deadly crashes are speeding, distractions like cell phones and not wearing a seatbelt. Recently, Nebraska ranked fourth worst in the nation for wearing seatbelts.

“In fatality crashes, we only see about 30% of people wearing a seatbelt and the people that are involved in a crash,” Kovarik said. “We’re not seeing very many people wearing a seatbelt and that’s the best thing anybody can do in a vehicle”

Right now only about 81% of Nebraskans wear their seatbelts regularly. That’s down from the national average, which clocks in at 90%.

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