Top 12 Causes of Idaho’s Spike In Car Crashes
Over the last two years, I've witnessed what seems to have been a litany of car crashes during my daily commutes throughout the Treasure Valley. A recent article by the Cour d'Ale Press published this year on February 2nd confirms my observations.
According to the Idaho FY2021 Highway Safety Plan published by the National Highway Safety Administration, our state's 2021 spike in fatal car crashes led the nation that year.
Between January and September of 2021, the Idaho State Journal reported 206 Idahoans had succumbed to injuries sustained during traffic-related accidents. Idaho's increase of 36% during the same time period in 2020 was starkly contrasted by that of the lesser national average at 12%.
As reported by the Idaho Transportation Department, the statewide crash count climbed to 5, 245 between January 1st and April 18th of 2022. Of those incidents, 22 were categorized as fatal crashes that rendered the loss of 23 lives.
When we moved here more than seven years ago, the feeling that Idaho was a safer place to raise a family or start life anew was mutual among transplants.
Back in 2015, people were dazzled when Meridian came in first out of 50 in the 24/7 Wall St. review of America's 50 Best Cities to Live In. Variables measured included crime rate, employment growth, education, the local housing market, and access to amenities like restaurants and entertainment venues.
During the following four years, ITD noted Idaho's car crash count had been on the decline, with 36% of incidents attributed to impaired driving.
So what happened? Popular opinion among locals typically harkens back to the 'too much too soon' rationale. Many feel our state was and is currently underprepared to accommodate a population of 1,896, 652. While it's possible the soaring population could be an underlying cause, the top three three factors that account for Idaho car crashes are: speeding too fast for conditions, failure to yield, and following too closely. These factors are closely followed by inattentive driving, failure to maintain lanes, and drunk driving.
In ascending order, the following gallery illustrates the top 12 reasons Idahoan's have experienced a spike in car crashes between 1 January and 18 April, 2022.
Road safety is everyone's responsibility, friend. Drive safely.
Top 12 Causes of Idaho's Spike In Car Crashes
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