Safer driving this summer will save lives

Warm and sunny days are on the horizon. From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, there is an “increase in vehicular crashes and deaths.” Not a surprise, really, given the way our driving and social habits change during the summer, but the numbers are still startling.

The two major causes of those deaths are speeding and operating a vehicle while impaired (by alcohol or drugs) — 59 percent of fatal crashes were OVI related, and 31 percent were speed related.

Motorcyclists face an even greater danger during these 100 days, partly because the weather is so much more suitable for them to enjoy a ride. In 2020, this time period saw 60 percent of all motorcycle-involved crashes for the year. Those incidents included 128 fatal crashes in which 132 people were killed.

Be smart about enjoying summer driving and riding, folks. And remember to keep an eye out for those who are not so vigilant. Protect yourself and others on the road by committing to safe driving habits such as driving sober, obeying the speed limit and not driving distracted.

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