On June 9th, the death toll on Nebraska roads hit the 100 mark. The state’s fatality rate is up 22% compared to that date over the past four years. Statistics show that out of the 79 killed in car accidents this year 72% were not using their seat belt. Fred Zwonechek is the administrator for the Nebraska Department of Highway Safety and says after all the seatbelt education over the years it is hard to believe that people are still not using them.
Zwonechek says, “We’ve got 80% of Nebraskans buckling up on a regular basis. We’ve got that remaining 20% that don’t. Sadly, they make up about 70% of the fatalities. They must believe it will never happen to me. I’m better than all the other drivers out there, sort of that mindset I think. If we could just get everybody out there to get those seatbelts on we would cut that number in half overnight.”
As of June 9th, six pedestrians and three bicyclists died after being hit by vehicles. Eleven of the fatality deaths have been motorcyclists.
A recent survey rated Nebraska 6th worst in the nation regarding teenage drivers. Nebraska rated poorly regarding the number of teen driver fatalities per teen population, the number of teens driving under the influence and the lack of distracted driving laws. Zwonechek disagrees with those statistics.
Nebraska statistics show the number of teen crashes dropped from 43-hundred a year to 26-hundred in the last ten years and fatal crash involvement dropped 45% and alcohol involvement dropped 43%. He the survey did not take into account the bottom six are in rural areas and teens start driving at an earlier age.