There were 44 deaths on Wisconsin roads last month, 19 more than a year ago in April. That’s a 43 percent increase, according to preliminary statistics from the Department of Transportation.
David Pabst with the Bureau of Transportation Safety said various modes of transportation were involved in those crashes, and everyone needs to do their part to be safe. “And put your phone down,” he said. “By golly; I’m so tired of seeing people texting and driving or even just using their phone. Any time you’re on the phone you are four times more likely to be involved in a crash.” Pabst said texting increases those odds “exponentially.”
There were 35 more traffic deaths through April of this year than in the same period last year. Anytime you’re engaged in something other than driving, Pabst said, you increase your odds of being in a crash. “Anything,” he repeated, “Anything. Whether it’s playing with the radio, shaving, putting on lipstick, any kind of distracted driving is really dangerous.” Pabst said, “It takes your eyes off the road, your brain off of what you’re supposed to be doing, and just leads to potential tragedy.”
As of April 30, a total of 146 people have died in Wisconsin traffic crashes this year, including nine motorcyclists, 11 pedestrians and two bicyclists. Already the first weekend in May, at least four people have died in motorcycle crashes.
Officials say the lack of seat-belt usage is a consistent factor in fatalities on the road. The DOT’s annual “Click It or Ticket” crackdown runs from May 18th through 31st.
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