The official Labor Day driving period begins at 6 p.m. Friday and traffic along Kentucky's interstates is sure to pick up. A declining fatality rate does not diminish concerns associated with excessive speed on the state's highways.
The number of people killed on Kentucky roadways has declined in recent years. Still, with 638 fatalities in 2013, law enforcement officials would like to see more days of what they refer to as "zero days." That's a day when no one dies on Kentucky highways.
Kentucky State Police Spokesman Michael Webb says a drop in highway deaths is due in large part to today's vehicle makeup. "Things such as airbags and seat belts have been around for quite some time, but there's also engineering feats in the actual design of the frames to include crumble zones and other things to absorb energy in the vehicles when they are in a crash," said Webb.
Webb says all of the safety equipment available in newer cars still isn't enough to offset the potential damage during a high speed collision. "Vehicles at high speeds, no matter what kind of seat belts or air bags that you have equipped in your car, if the vehicle's traveling at a high enough speed and comes to a sudden stop fast enough, or has enough trauma to the frame of the car and the structure of the car, then it could be very devastating to the occupants of that vehicle," added Webb.
Eight people lost their lives in crashes during the 2013 Labor Day Holiday period.