Kentucky highway fatalities declined in 2018

Published 9:54 am Friday, February 1, 2019

FRANKFORT – Preliminary figures indicate highway fatalities in Kentucky declined in 2018 to 722, down from 782 in 2017. According to the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS), this is the second consecutive year that roadway fatalities have decreased.

KOHS Acting Executive Director Jason Siwula commends Kentuckians for being responsible behind the wheel and practicing safe driving behaviors.

“We are encouraged by the reduction in fatalities, and we thank the traveling public for making choices behind the wheel, like buckling up and driving sober, that prevent the loss of life on Kentucky highways,” Siwula said. “It doesn’t go unnoticed that (in 2018) we observed that seat belt usage increased and fatalities decreased.”

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According to data from the University of Kentucky Transportation Center, Kentucky’s seat belt usage rate rose from 86.8 percent in 2017 to 89.9 percent in 2018.

“While this achievement demonstrates safety is trending in the right direction, a single fatality is frankly one too many on our roadways,” Siwula said. “We are committed to continuing work with our local, state, federal and private industry highway safety partners until this number is zero.”

The fatality figures will remain preliminary until all highway crash data is collected. A final report will be released in April.

Kentucky’s history of highway fatalities: 2000, 823; 2001, 843; 2002, 915; 2003, 931; 2004, 964; 2005, 985; 2006, 913; 2007, 864; 2008, 826; 2009, 791; 2010, 760; 2011, 721; 2012, 746; 2013, 638; 2014, 672; 2015, 761; 2016, 834; 2017, 782; 2018, 722* (preliminary number).