"This Fourth of July holiday is one of the busiest times on our roadways," says KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer. "Many Kentuckians will be traveling within the state and many more out-of-state visitors will be traveling through the Commonwealth. This increased activity has the potential to produce added risks to holiday travel plans."
In 2013, Kentucky recorded six fatalities as the result of five crashes during the four-day July 4th holiday period. Three of the crashes involved the use of alcohol and one of the victims was not wearing a seat belt.
"Kentucky ended 2013 with the lowest number of highway fatalities since 1947," notes Brewer. "Through July 1, there have been 297 fatalities on Kentucky's roadways during 2014. That's 30 fewer than last year at this time.
"This is a significant reduction," he adds. "We'd like to see this trend continue."
According to Sgt. Michael Webb, commander of the KSP Public Affairs Branch, many of these fatalities are preventable and motorists can take three actions that will significantly increase their safety during road travel: Buckle up; obey speed limits and don't drink and drive.
Other safety tips he recommends include:
- Use approved child restraints.
- Don't tailgate.
- Expect the unexpected.
- Watch for road debris.
- Be extra cautious around large trucks.
- Slow down in construction zones.
- Avoid or minimize in-car distractions.
Citizens can contribute to highway safety by reporting erratic, impaired or speeding drivers to the KSP toll-free hotline at 1-800-222-5555.
Signs that a driver might be impaired include weaving, swerving, drifting or straddling the center line; driving on the wrong side of the road; driving at inconsistent speeds; stopping without cause or braking erratically; ignoring or responding slowly to traffic lights; driving too close to curbs and driving at night with no lights.
Callers will remain anonymous and should give a description of the vehicle, location, direction of travel and license number, if possible.