highway safety

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Highway deaths are up this year - more than 60 people have died on Wyoming roadways so far in 2019. This time last year, there were only 27 fatalities.

Wyoming Highway Patrol

 

 

Wyoming experienced 16 highway fatalities in January. Although fatalities have been declining overall, that's a relatively high number to start the year off with according to the Wyoming Highway Patrol. There was a total of 108 highway fatalities in 2018. WYDOT and the Highway Patrol are urging drivers to practice safe driving, especially during winter months.

Wyoming Highway Patrol

Several thousand gallons of crude oil are believed to have leaked from a tractor-trailer following a crash near Wright in northeast Wyoming Sunday morning. 

According to a press release, the commercial truck was hauling a semi-trailer and pup trailer full of crude oil when it ran off Wyoming State Highway 450 and into a ditch. Truck driver Nathan Gibson then tried to steer the truck back onto the highway, but was unsuccessful, and the truck rolled.

Wyoming Department of Transportation

Winter weather this week caused I-80 to close across most of the state. The first major closure of the winter driving season was prompted by near zero visibility and blowing snow across much of interstate 80.

Sergeant David Wagener with the Wyoming Highway Patrol says the most important safety tip for winter driving is wearing your seatbelt, something he says everyone should be doing no matter what the weather conditions are.

Wyoming Department of Transportation

The Wyoming Department of Transportation is working with federal officials on a project to make driving safer. The plan is to use interactive technology to tell drivers about road and weather conditions as well as safety information. Wyoming is focusing on making travel safer along Interstate 80. 

Bob Beck

Highway crashes on Wyoming Interstates are a common occurrence, but the back to back multiple vehicle crashes last month even got the attention of locals. It led to the latest discussion about traffic safety and whether more could be done. But experts say that highway safety, especially when it comes to interstate 80 has been on the minds of state Transportation officials for some time. 

Miles Bryan

  

Nathan Brooks drives all over the country delivering goods as a long-haul trucker, and when I met him at a rest stop just outside of Laramie, Wyoming, he was about to start his favorite drive— back home to Alabama. Brooks has been a trucker for twenty-seven years and says the job is getting harder than it used to be.

“Everything is more expensive now. There is a lot more traffic on the road. And you are more likely to get caught up in some kind of accident.”

saferoads.org

Wyoming ranks among the worst states for auto safety laws. That’s according to a new report from the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.

Eight other states were rated as red in the report, which means they have less than half of the organization’s recommended laws like mandatory seatbelt enforcement and required helmet use for all motorcyclists.

Bunky Loucks is a Representative from Casper and says he sees no need for state laws to change.

Leigh Paterson / Inside Energy

This is an updated post from a previous story: INSIDE ENERGY: A Tiny Wyoming Town, Stuck In (Boom) Traffic

Leigh Paterson / Inside Energy

The oil and gas boom in states like Wyoming, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Texas has not only brought jobs and prosperity but also a dangerous spike in traffic and accidents. These states have reacted with a variety of fixes, but not one has been able to prepare in advance for the traffic boom. That is partly because a large slice of transportation funding in most states comes from the oil and gas industry itself. Jim Willox is a local official in Wyoming’s Converse County, where much of the oil and gas boom is taking place:

The latest report on workplace death and injuries in Wyoming shows the transportation sector continues to lead in fatalities. Wyoming's overall numbers declined, but that was due to a decrease in traffic fatalities. State Occupational Epidemiologist Mack Sewell  says Wyoming is starting to make progress in reducing workplace deaths and injuries. But in a prepared statement, Sewell says more needs to be done.