The number of people who were killed on the state’s highways during the first three months of this year is down significantly, according to Rose White at AAA Nebraska.
“A review of Nebraska roadway fatalities for the first quarter of 2016 shows a dramatic improvement compared to last year,” White says. “From January through March, 34 lives were lost in roadway crashes compared to 63 deaths for the same period last year.”
Even with the positive results, White says every death is a tragedy. She notes, these are some of the best figures since the World War II era.
“According to the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety, this is the second fewest number of deaths for January through March since 1946,” White says. “In 2011, 31 fatalities were reported and the next fewest for this period was 1949 with 35 deaths.”
White says the latest report also delves into where the fatal crashes were happening.
“Fatalities in urban areas were down 53% compared to last year and rural areas were down 43%,” White says. “There’s also been a dramatic drop in motorcycle and pedestrian fatalities. This year, one motorcycle death occurred during the first quarter, compared to six last year, and three pedestrians died this year on Nebraska roadways compared to six during the first quarter of last year.”
A recent motor club survey found distracted driving was to blame in 10% of all motor vehicle deaths. Also, more than 80% of drivers surveyed said they viewed distracted driving as a bigger problem than it was three years ago, yet one in three admit to using a cell phone while behind the wheel.