Dangerous driving habits seen during the pandemic continue to spread

New government numbers show 2022 is off to a very bad start when it comes to traffic deaths in Kentucky.
Published: Aug. 19, 2022 at 6:12 PM EDT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - New government numbers show 2022 is off to a very bad start when it comes to traffic deaths in Kentucky.

A report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed 206 people died in Kentucky crashes in the first quarter of 2022.

That is a 27.2% increase over the first quarter of last year, almost four times the national rate.

“When the vehicle miles traveled goes up, so do the incidents of fatalities and crashes,” AAA safety advisor Lynda Lambert said. “But speeding is just a huge factor when you break those numbers down.”

In the first three months of the year, the NHTSA estimates 9,560 people in the US died in crashes, an increase over the same period last year of about 7%.

Kentucky is a part of a cluster of middle Atlantic states, the worst part of the country for rising fatalities according to the NHTSA report.

Not only did fatalities in this area increase 52% over last year, but the same region showed the rate of fatalities was also rising. That means passengers in crashes are more likely to die than last year.