BOISE – The Memorial Day weekend is almost here marking the unofficial start of summer. The holiday weekend brings along with it backyard cookouts and camping trips – it also marks the beginning of the deadliest time on Idaho’s roads.
The time between the Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends are often referred to as the “100 Deadliest Days.” It is a time of year when deadly crashes tend to spike.
“The weather is nicer and the days are longer and more people are out on the roads,” said Josephine Middleton from the Idaho Transportation Department Office of Highway Safety.
In 2016 there were 252 people killed on Idaho’s roads – 85 of those crashes happened between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend.
“It seems that sometimes people let their guard down because of the nicer driving conditions and they aren’t as cautious as they could be,” Middleton added. “We receive reports of impaired, aggressive and distracted driving crashes every summer – these crashes can don’t have to happen.”
ITD and its highway safety partners have several mobilizations planned for the summer months. These efforts are designed to enforce traffic safety laws and educate the public. During the summer these mobilizations will focus on seatbelt usage and impaired driving.
“Our partnerships with law enforcement are so important to us,” Middleton said, “but so is our partnership with each and every Idahoan who gets inside a car. We can all do little things to make our roads safer – be patient, get a designated driver, put away the distractions and buckle up and we can all get to our destinations safely this summer.”
In addition to an increase in cars on the roads, motorists also need to keep their eye out for other road users as motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians take advantage of the summer weather to get out of their cars.