89 more fatalities in 2015 than in 2014
FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 4, 2016) — In 2015 Kentucky had 761 highway fatalities, 89 more than in 2014—an increase of about 12 percent—according to official numbers released from the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) and Kentucky State Police (KSP).
Of the 761 fatalities last year, 51 percent involved passengers not wearing seatbelts and 18.7 percent involved alcohol. More than 36 percent involved speeding or aggressive drivers. Motorcyclists accounted for 80 fatalities, with 65 percent not wearing helmets.
Mild winter weather and lower gas prices during the last quarter of the year led to increased traveling on Kentucky roadways and are considered to be contributing factors in the fatality increase.
Bill Bell, KOHS executive director, said there were some encouraging trends in 2015 on which to build.
“Because more motorists took responsibility for their driving habits, there were 59 days last year in which no one lost a loved one on our roadways,” Bell said. “We are committed to focusing our efforts until that number of zero-death days reaches 365.”
KOHS will analyze highway data to identify existing issues and attempt to predict future problems.
So far in 2016, preliminary numbers indicate there have been 151 roadway fatalities — down from 173 compared to the same time last year.