Last year, 40 percent of Idaho's fatal motor-vehicle crashes occurred during the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day, according to ITD statistics.
The time period between the two holidays, referred to as the "100 Deadliest Days," is when road conditions are at their best, but more lives are lost on Idaho roads than other times of the year due to vehicle crashes.
That's why ITD's Office of Highway Safety (OHS), the Idaho State Police and local law enforcement agencies are working together to reverse this trend by increasing awareness of these "100 Deadliest Days" through education efforts and enforcement of driving laws, such as inattentive driving, impaired driving, speeding and use of safety restraints on Idaho's roads this summer.
"Idaho's law enforcement asks drivers to slow down, pay attention, never drive impaired and to make sure everyone in the vehicle is buckled-up at all times," said Idaho State Police Captain Sheldon Kelley. "The vast majority of crashes are preventable, if we all drive responsibly. Our goal is to get to zero deaths and to not have to tell another family that they have lost a loved one."
The enforcement efforts will be accompanied by a three-month, statewide public-information campaign funded by OHS to remind Idahoans that summer does not have to be the deadliest time for driving.
There are four main factors that lead to serious injury and fatal crashes, explained Josephine Middleton, with ITD.
"The majority of our crashes happen when people choose to drive distracted, impaired or use excessive speed," said Middleton. "When we combine any of these behaviors with not buckling-up, we are at an even greater risk of fatal and serious injury when we crash."
Kelley added that the public may report distracted or impaired drivers to ISP from their mobile phones by dialing *ISP (*477). He also reminded drivers to be safe and let a passenger make that call.
In the past five years (2010-2014), 328 people were killed on Idaho roads during the "100 Deadliest Days" time period.