Highway fatalities down in Wyoming - KOTA Territory News

Highway fatalities down in Wyoming

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Troopers say there are multiple reasons why highway deaths are way down in Wyoming this year.

"The economy is still down across the country and we have had less traffic and fewer travelers. And seat belt use is way up in the State of Wyoming," said Trooper Kelly Broad with the Wyoming Highway Patrol.

Broad says authorities cracked down on seat belt use and impaired driving, likely leading to fewer fatal crashes.

"We always have been on the lookout for any kind of impaired drivers and we take those off the road any chance we come across them. But I would say seat belt usage has definitely increased in enforcement action," said Broad.

With only 82 highway deaths this year Wyoming is sure to shatter its record of 118 in 1992. But the snow and cold temperatures will not help with keeping those numbers down.

"There's always those shady spots that don't get sun that can leave an ice patch and of course, bridge decks that freeze quicker," said Broad.

But at this point of the season most Wyoming drivers are used to adverse conditions.

"After the first couple storms, people seem to realize that the roads are nasty and they do slow down," said Broad.

"Everybody seems to be cautious and driving according to what the roads are," said Lisa McGuire.

McGuire says so far she's had only favorable roads on her holiday trip from Spearfish to Billings, but she still planned ahead.

"I made sure that my tires were good and inflated. I always keep a little emergency kit in the back of the car, kitty litter, jumper cables, those kinds of things," said McGuire.

Extra troopers will patrol the roads through the holiday season to make sure the roads stay safe.

Governor Matt Mead's office says alcohol related highway fatalities are also down with only 25 this year. That is the lowest since 1982.

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