The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s end of the year fatality report indicates there have been 669 highway fatalities throughout the state of Kentucky in 2018.
“I talk to a lot of people out there that have had friends and family killed in car crashes,” says Keith Todd, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. “Particularly this time of year it just really impacts families a lot.”
But when compared to last year, the number is far less.
“We’re averaging a little less than about two fatalities a day,” says Todd. “So if you take the remaining days of the year that means that essentially there are 35 people alive today that will not be here to ring in the New Year.”
KYTC officials believe there are several reasons for the decrease.
“Our improved law enforcement, improved public education and awareness of alcohol issues has gradually driven that number down,” says Todd.
Major Barry Smith with the Daviess County Sheriff’s Office says the deputies hope the trend continues next year.
“What’s staggering of those numbers that should surprise everyone is 53 percent of the total fatalities were unseat-belted, not using a seatbelt,” says Smith. “You have to wonder how many of those 669 accidents would still be alive today if they had their seatbelt on.”
KSP troopers here in Henderson responded to 31 fatal crashes this year. In Madisonville, there were 44 fatal accidents.
The highest number reported comes from Elizabethtown near Louisville. Troopers there responded to more than 130 fatal crashes in 2018.