Memorial Day marks the traditional beginning of summer vacation season, which marks an increase in traffic on Nebraska roads.
More free times equals more cars on the road.
“So, number one, the traffic volume is going to increase. Number two, your standard safety practices that should be in place every day really need to be adhered to,” Col. John Bolduc, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Bolduc says the top safety practice remains buckling up. Bolduc says two-thirds of the people killed in traffic accidents were not wearing their seat belts.
Running a close second is avoiding drunk driving, which often leads to crashes, injuries, and deaths, according to Bolduc.
Distracted driving also leads to accidents on the highway, according to Bolduc, who says troopers have been noticing an increase in distracted driving, notably from drivers talking or texting on their cell phones.
Bolduc says numerous studies indicate a driver distracted by a cell phone is just as dangerous as a driver who is drunk.
“And, so the studies are showing that these distractions in the motor vehicle can have disastrous effects, very similar to impairment,” according to Bolduc.
Bolduc points out more motorcycles will be on the road this summer. He warns motorists to be on the lookout for the motorcycles, which can be difficult to see.
Adding to the congestion on the roads during the summer months is construction. The Nebraska Department of Transportation has a number of road repair projects underway. Bolduc urges motorists to be aware of construction zones, to slow down, and to anticipate sudden stops.
The Click It or Ticket campaign is underway in Nebraska. The campaign pays for overtime for The Nebraska State Patrol, 25 Nebraska police departments, and 33 Sheriff’s Offices around Nebraska to have officers and dispatchers working to ensure motorists use their seat belts. The campaign runs through June 3rd.
Triple A Nebraska predicts the most traffic will be on the road this Memorial Day weekend since 2005. Triple A predicts more than 41 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles from home this coming weekend.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]