WYDOT: Be Extra Vigilant Over the Holidays
The holiday season means more traffic on Wyoming’s roads and highways, and the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) and Wyoming Highway Patrol (WHP) are reminding travelers to be extra vigilant.
Ultimately, properly using seatbelts is the single choice motorists have that can make the biggest difference, they caution, in the outcome of an automobile accident.
“Wyoming families can protect themselves and others by always following safety-related measures when driving such as buckling up for safety,” said WYDOT Director Bill Panos in a release. “Wyoming has a long history of helping families, and one of the simplest ways is to buckle up and drive safely.”
In addition to always buckling up, motorists should avoid distractions when driving and never drive impaired, they add.
According to WYDOT, Wyoming is set to have one of the lowest fatality totals in years. Preliminary figures for 2018 show that Wyoming has had 105 fatalities as of November, compared to 123 fatalities in 2017, 112 in 2016, 145 in 2015 and 150 in 2014.
Over that five-year period from 2014 through 2018, about 61 percent of those fatalities were a result of not wearing their seat belts.
The yearly figures fluctuated over that four-year period but showed a downward trend overall.
In 2014, 55 percent of fatalities in vehicles were due to lack of proper seat restraints. That number jumped to 71 percent in 2015, but then decreased to 68 percent in 2016, 62 percent in 2017, and down to 51 percent thus far in 2018.
In 2017 in Wyoming, the observed seat belt rate use was 84.8 percent, which is lower than the national average of 90 percent.
“No matter if it’s the holidays or another time of the year, we want motorists to always be safe and practice safe driving habits,” said WHP Col. Kebin Haller in the release. “This year isn’t over yet, so we want to continue to stress the importance of safe driving to prevent any more fatalities. One fatality is one too many. We want each and every driver and passenger to make it to their destinations safely.”