BOISE, ID. – Deaths from motor vehicle crashes in Idaho are on track to be the lowest since the 1960s. There are many reasons behind this trend.
So far this year, 158 people have died on Idaho’s highways. That’ll be a record if that number stays below 200. Brent Jennings manages highway safety for the Idaho Transportation Department.
Brent Jennings: “In all likelihood, we expect the fatalities to be the lowest since we started keeping records back in the early 60’s.”
Looking back over thirty years, the number of fatalities on Idaho roadways peaked in 2003. That’s when nearly 300 people died. Since then fatalities have generally declined.
Brent Jennings: “We believe that we can attribute this significant decline in fatalities to the educational programs, the partnerships that we have in education, in engineering, law enforcement, and emergency medical services.”
The trend in Idaho isn’t an anomaly. The entire U.S. has seen a decline in highway deaths. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration marked last year as the lowest for fatalities and injuries since 1949. This is due to more safety measures in vehicles like seat belts, airbags, and child seats. Stricter laws to keep drunk drivers and young people off the road have also helped lead to safer highways.
Copyright 2011 Boise State Public Radio