Nebraska gets a 'D' for road safety

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - According to AAA, more than 37 million people are expected to travel on the roads this weekend.

According to a study by the National Safety Council, that looked at all 50 states, Nebraska was given a "D" rating when it comes to road safety.

The Nebraska Safety Council said two of the big reasons for the rating are Nebraska's laws surrounding seat belts and cellphones.

"A particular concern in Nebraska is a rise in distracted driving crashes by 25% since 2010. One of the things that the study had is that we don't have a primary texting law in Nebraska," said Mark Segerstrom, road safety project coordinator with the Nebraska Safety Council.

According to Segerstrom, there are ways the state can improve its road safety rating. One example will start in Iowa on July 1, when texting becomes a primary offense.

"So if there's any Nebraskans maybe going through Iowa, going camping in Iowa, they should be aware that you can not text and drive," said Segerstrom.

He added that in Iowa, "you can't manipulate your phone and you can not use social media behind the wheel."

While people get out of town, Lincoln police said they will be keeping an eye on local streets, and they want to remind people that it won't be your usual weekend on the roads.

Sargeant Todd Kocian with the Lincoln Police Department said, "We just want to make sure that people understand there's gonna be added congestion so give yourself a little extra time to get there."

"Get there safely, slow down, and buckle up," he added.