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Kentucky highway fatalities rose in 2016

Highways in Kentucky were more dangerous in 2016, according to WCPO, with an increase of 9.6 percent in fatalities over 2015. These numbers come from the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety and the Kentucky State Police, who tallied the number of highway deaths in 2016 at 834, which is 73 more than were recorded in 2015. More than half of the deaths we in crashes where the deceased was not wearing a seatbelt. Motorcyclists were 90 of the fatalities, with 60 percent of those riders not wearing helmets.

Impaired or distracted driving accounted for nearly 40 percent of the deaths, with alcohol-related crashes causing 16.8 percent of fatalities and distracted driving accounting for 23 percent of the deaths. Speeding or other aggressive driving were involved in more than 36 percent of the fatalities on Kentucky highways.

With many of these deaths being avoidable, the Daily Independent calls on drivers to be more vigilant. Although alcohol-related deaths are down, in the past almost half of all road fatalities were due to drunk drivers, but nearly 17 percent of the deaths could have been avoided by not getting behind the wheel intoxicated. Cell phones account for the large uptick in distracted driving, and texting while driving is a huge issue that has put many on the roads at risk. Improved highway conditions may have led to an increase in speeding, but this can cause car accidents to be more dangerous. Diligent driving could save lives, so it is important Kentucky drivers take personal responsibility to ensure they are driving safely to keep themselves and others safe on the roads.

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