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Tragic Memorial Day weekend on Idaho’s roads

Idaho State Police says 12 people died in seven different crashes around the state during the holiday weekend.

BOISE, Idaho — The 100 deadliest days got off to a bad start during the Memorial Day weekend. 

Idaho State Police troopers responded to seven crashes that left 12 people dead.

"Our ISP troopers and dispatchers connect with those involved, their families, and those who witness these very serious crashes, said ISP Colonel Kedrick Wills. "They're incredible professionals, yet like all Idahoans, we too felt the extreme tragedy faced by too many families this past weekend." 

The 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day is historically the time of year when fatal car crashes nearly double compared to the rest of the year. The most common factors in these wrecks are aggressive, distracted and impaired driving. Wearing your seatbelt can also save a life.

Troopers have been cracking on motorists for not wearing seatbelts during the last two weeks in May, issuing 233 citations. ISP is one of 59 law enforcement agencies statewide to participate in the recent "Click It or Ticket" education and enforcement campaign.

"I've been to so many crashes, even low speed or single-vehicle crashes, or crashes in the center of town, where a seatbelt would have kept someone secure in the vehicle or otherwise prevented serious injuries," said ISP Sgt. Steve Farley.

SAFE DRIVING HABITS:

  • Buckle up: More than half of the people killed in Idaho crashes are not properly restrained in a vehicle.
  • Drive engaged: Keep your eyes on the road and your mind on driving. Cell phones, stereos, other technology, even pets can be a deadly distraction.
  • Drive Sober: Alcohol and drugs both cause impaired driving. Buzzed driving is drunk driving.
  • Keep a safe distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you. Following too closely reduces reaction time and increases risk of being involved in a collision.
  • Avoid excessive speed and other aggressive driving behaviors. Speeding or driving too fast for conditions, ignoring traffic signals, tailgating, and weaving in and out of traffic are common causes for crashes.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has more information for parents on the proper use of car and booster seats for children. 

ITD Office of Highway Safety data shows from 2015-2019, 56% of vehicle occupants killed in Idaho were not restrained, and 1,207 unrestrained vehicle occupants were critically injured in traffic crashes.

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