With many schools on summer vacation and the summer travel season here, deaths on Idaho roadways are spiking in what the Idaho State Police call the 100 Deadliest Days.
Seven people died on roadways over the first weekend in June. As of Monday, nine people had died in highway collisions since the start of the 100 Deadliest Days on May 25.
“Just yesterday afternoon we had an additional fatality up near New Meadows, so it’s ten as of this morning,” says Idaho State Police spokesman Tim Marsano. “What we see is a very alarming trend.”
Marsano says one consistent trend linking many of the fatal crashes is drivers not wearing a seatbelt. He estimates that’s a contributing factor in about 70 percent of the cases that come across his desk.
“It’s a very basic thing, and it’s probably the number one way to prevent fatalities,” says Marsano.
Impairment by alcohol and prescription drugs, along with distracted driving – think fiddling with a phone while behind the wheel – are each blamed for some of the recent fatalities.
“What really matters when you’re driving is eyes on the road and hands on the wheel,” Marsano say. “It’s a very basic thing, but I’m not sure the message is getting across.”
According to the ISP spokesman, just slowing down and having patience could be a life saver.
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