Year of Mild Weather Blamed for High Number of Traffic Fatalities


Everyone knows there hasn't been much in the way of precipitation in 2012, but some may be surprised to hear that the drought may be partially to blame for the jump in traffic fatalities across Nebraska last year.

The fatality total as of Monday, the last day of 2012, was 207. That is a fairly large increase when compared with the 181 deaths in 2011 and 190 in 2010.

State highway safety administrator Fred Zwonechek said that most people drive slower and more cautiously when snow, ice or rain make roadways more perilous. And without those conditions to cause people to drive more cautiously, the roads became a dangerous place to be in 2012.

Zwonechek gave the example of 22 people that died on Nebraska roads in January last year, compared with seven and eight the previous two years.