There’s been a steady decline in highway fatalities in Kentucky since 2005, when 985 people were killed. Last year, the number of fatalities fell to 760, the fifth consecutive year of declines. Kentucky State Police spokesman David Jude says increased seat belt use is one reason, but rising gas prices likely are playing a role, too.
“A couple of years ago when gas reached its high for this area, we noticed that people weren’t traveling as much – at least not in great distances. They still went out and they made some short day trips. They took some more local vacations, if you will, and kind of reduced the number of miles that they were driving,” he said.
Sixty-two percent of people killed on Kentucky roadways last year were not buckled up. Twenty-percent of the fatalities involved alcohol. Motorcyclists accounted for 78 of last year’s fatalities, and 58 of them were not wearing helmets. Kentucky repealed its mandatory helmet law in 1998.