Police, Deputies Remind Drivers to Drive Safely During Summer Months

Published 06/20 2014 01:36PM

Updated 06/20 2014 10:55PM

(ST, JOSEPH, Mo.) Dry roads, longer daylight hours and clear skies make the perfect combination for a summer road trip.

Unfortunately, those excursions are not always smooth sailing; Especially during this time of year.

"It's a beautiful day out and people are out driving, wanting to spend time outside. You're going to see an increase in accidents," said Brad Kerns, St. Joseph Police Department Traffic Officer.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator, travelers cause nearly twice the number of fatal accidents during the summer than the rest of the year combined.

St. Joseph police say they have seen an increase in accidents since November.

"Most of them are your small fender benders, but we do have some moderate to mild injuries, and then again, you do have a few fatalities," Kerns said.

Police want to make sure that number does not go up in the coming months.

"Increase your following distance between you and another car, allow enough time for you to have that reaction if something were to happen," he said.

"If they would just slow down a little bit, always buckle that seat belt, and for our motorcycle riders out there, always wear a Department of Transportation approved safety helmet," said Sgt. Jacob Angle, Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Driving tips are often repeated over and over again, yet some still fail to follow the most important rule of the road; Wearing a seat belt.

"If they would just take that two of three seconds to buckle that seat belt, the results would be amazing," Sgt. Angle said.

That's why police and deputies continue to stress the importance of safe driving.

"Sometimes, I feel like I sound like a broken record, but, you know, it's just a message we have to get out there. Buckle up, slow down, take your time," he said.

Though the number of accidents has increased in St. Joseph, the number of fatalities has decreased in Missouri.

There were 313 fatalities this time last year.

This year, the number is down to 306.

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