Idaho motorists are in the midst of what law enforcement call the 100 deadliest days for drivers. According to the Idaho Transportation Department, around 40 percent of deadly crashes happen between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
AAA expects 207,000 Idahoans will travel at least 50 miles from home around July 4, with 175,000 going by car. Many of those drivers will make their way to Idaho Falls for one of the largest fireworks celebrations in the west. Idaho State Police Lt. Chris Weadick said that could bring more crashes to the area.
“We’re seeing a lot of people out here on the highways driving at higher speeds; that tends to bring distracted driving and it tends to bring aggressive driving.”
ISP said distracted, aggressive or impaired driving more than likely leads to fatal crashes.
According to the Idaho Transportation Department, deadly crashes are more likely to happen in June and July. In 2013, there were two fatalities in June and three in July. However, July of 2014 accounted for seven deaths in District 6 alone.
“Drivers make a choice when they get behind the wheel,” said Weadick. “We’re seeing a lot of drivers drive off the road, overcorrect and crash and we know there was some type of distraction causing those crashes and that’s what we’re trying to target out here.”
AAA says Idaho won’t be the only western state with crowded interstates. More than 12 percent of the population in the Mountain Region will travel between Wednesday, July 1 and Sunday, July 5, accounting for more than 3 million trips.