Report: 56 have died on Idaho highways since Memorial Day –- ITD says that's "alarming"

Posted at 10:59 AM, Jul 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-21 12:59:48-04

With summer in full swing, we are halfway through the so-called “100 Deadliest Days of Driving.” And preliminary numbers are alarming -- with approximately one death for each day since the Memorial Day weekend, according to the Idaho Transportation Department.

According to preliminary reports, there have been 56 reported fatalities on Idaho roads since the 2017 Memorial Day weekend began May 26. The top three most common contributing factors in Idaho crashes are aggressive driving, distracted driving and impaired driving.

“Beginning today (Friday, July 21), more than fifty state and local law enforcement agencies will partner with the Idaho Transportation Department to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries on Idaho roads. Officers will conduct additional patrols through August 4th with a focus on aggressive driving, distracted driving and seat belt use,” said ITD spokesman Bill Kotowski.

“Human behavior is the cause of 94 percent of our crashes,” said Josephine Middleton from ITD’s Office of Highway Safety. “We can all do little things like buckling up, putting our phones away or just being a little more patient.”

From 2011-2015, reports show nearly two thirds of the people who died in Idaho crashes were not wearing seat belts.

The “100 Deadliest Days” span the weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day – traditionally, the busiest months on Idaho roads.

“Across the state, we see more people on the roads -- more motorcycles, more pedestrians and more construction,” Middleton added. “We can work together to make sure we all make it home safe at the end of the day.”

The “100 Deadliest Days” mobilization is funded by Office of Highway Safety as part of their “Towards Zero Deaths” goal to eliminate Idaho traffic fatalities.