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Kansas City traffic fatalities up nearly 45 percent from 2016

As 2017 comes to a close, drivers should use extra caution during the final weeks of the holiday season. With increased travel for last minute shopping and seasonal celebrations, more drivers are out on the roads and they are often in a hurry. Personal priorities begin to outweigh a driver’s sense of responsibility to obey traffic laws and common courtesy for the safety of other motorists on the road dissipates.

Last year there were 68 traffic fatalities in Kansas City and 98 have occurred so far in 2017. Unfortunately, officials expect more will happen before the year reaches a close.

Deadly toxicology cocktail

The Kansas City Police Department says impaired driving accounts for almost half of the traffic fatalities. While unfortunate, alcohol related fatalities increase during the holiday season. Accidents vary and the specifics as to what leads to a fatality are different in almost every case. However, a common trend with drunk drivers is their tendency to underestimate how drunk they really are, often rationalizing their decision to drive based on how short the distance.

A spike in marijuana impairment is also leading to the increase of traffic fatalities. Unlike drunk driving which typically occurs at night, drivers under the influence of drugs are on roads throughout the day and into the night.

Driver impairment

Both alcohol and drugs slow the body’s reaction time and ability to detect possible threats. Reduced coordination and slowed thinking also contribute to the problem. When under the influence, drivers have difficulty moderating speed, maintaining lane position and braking.

Driver responsibility involves everyone on the road, but sadly you cannot count on other drivers to be concerned with your personal safety. Make sure to use safe following distances and be on the lookout for erratic drivers.

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