Only two people lost their lives in traffic accidents over the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Still, highway fatalities are up significantly from a year ago.
The two deaths over the Thanksgiving holiday brings to 188 the total traffic fatalities this year. Last year, only 179 people died on Nebraska roadways.
But 2011 was an exceptional year, according to Nebraska State Patrol Field Services Major Russ Stanczyk, who says the patrol hopes to end the year without adding to the total.
“Our biggest fear as we close out the season and into the winter of 2013 would be some major weather event that could make our highways very dangerous for everybody,” Stanczyk tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Last year, the total death rate dropped to the second lowest in 70 years. Only 1944, during World War II, did Nebraska see a lower death count on its roads. Only 166 people died in traffic accidents that year.
In 2010, 190 people died in traffic wrecks.
Stanczyk says driver awareness keeps traffic accidents down.
“Really, you just have to be thinking about driving and driving safely and not thinking about some of the other distractions that we all have in our world these days,” according to Stanczyk.
The main tips for drivers, according to Stanczyk, are to obey the rules of the road, eliminate distractions, get plenty of rest before getting behind the wheel, and drive defensively.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]