Motorists urged to be safe behind the wheel as Kentucky reopens

KOHS is asking the public to help prevent an increase in traffic crashes

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 22, 2020) – As Kentuckians transition from Healthy at Home to Healthy at Work, the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) is asking motorists to help prevent an increase in crashes, injuries and deaths as traffic volumes increase.

“Many Kentuckians have worked diligently to make sure our friends and family are safe by being healthy at home,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “As some Kentuckians return to work, let’s make sure to have that same dedication to safety when getting behind the wheel.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 90 percent of crashes are due to human error.

“By committing to safe driving, we’re protecting ourselves and everyone we share the road with on a daily basis,” said Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray. “Actions such as obeying the speed limit, paying attention, driving sober and wearing a seat belt are proven measures to save lives.”

There were 732 roadway fatalities in 2019. So far in 2020, preliminary numbers indicate there have been 201 fatalities, down 38 compared to the same time period last year.

“We’re thankful when drivers make good decisions behind the wheel; however, sometimes even the most attentive drivers are involved in a crash,” said KOHS Acting Executive Director Jason Siwula. “That’s why we encourage everyone to always wear a seat belt, as it is the best protection against an aggressive, distracted or impaired driver.”

Both drivers and passengers should buckle up each and every time they get in a vehicle.  While more and more cars feature modern safety features to reduce crashes and fatal injuries, seat belts still rank supreme. According to KOHS, each year in Kentucky, more than half of those killed are not wearing a seat belt. 

“A single death is frankly one too many and we’re asking for the public’s help,” said Siwula. “Think about what we’ve accomplished so far during this crisis, and what we can continue to accomplish if we keep looking out for each other.” 

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