State Patrol attributes distracted driving to high traffic death - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

State Patrol attributes distracted driving to high traffic deaths in 2016

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - The Wisconsin State Patrol has branded the slogan "achieving zero deaths on Wisconsin roads". According to a recent study, the nation is heading in the wrong direction with 2016 recording more traffic deaths than the last 10 years.

The National Safety Council said across the nation, there were more than 40,000 traffic deaths in 2016. That number hasn't reached that height since 2007 when there were 41,000 traffic deaths.

In Wisconsin, the state patrol said an increase in traffic fatalities is also happening. The state patrol said one of the biggest reasons is distracted driving; drivers just aren't paying attention to the road ahead of them.

"A lot of our late night crashes seem to happen on long stretches where there isn't much happening. It's more of people becoming distracted or falling asleep and running off the road, and obviously at the higher speeds, once they leave the roadway it's a pretty traumatic crash," said Lieutenant Les Mlsna with the Wisconsin State Patrol.

The state patrol also attributes low gas prices, saying more people on the roads bring more accidents. According to GasBuddy we're expected to see a jump at the pump. Between February and May, prices are expected to go increase anywhere from 35 to 75 cents per gallon due to the more expensive blend of gasoline being used. GasBuddy said in 2016, in that time frame, prices across the state went up 86 cents per gallon on average.

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