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100 Deadliest Days of Summer

The Idaho State Police (ISP) urges drivers to exercise caution during the “100 Deadliest Days” on Idaho roads. This period, lasting from Memorial Day to Labor Day, is historically the most dangerous driving time due to high traffic volume, high temperatures, and increased outdoor activities.

Last year, the Idaho Department of Transportation (ITD) reported 7,430 crashes during the 100 Deadliest Days, resulting in 79 fatalities. This year, there have already been 46 reported deaths.

"People aren't replaceable. These crashes devastate our communities and the families involved. I urge everyone to drive responsibly, stay focused, and prioritize safety."

To help mitigate risks, ISP and law enforcement agencies statewide will conduct numerous enforcement campaigns throughout the summer to target impaired drivers, aggressive driving, and seatbelt violations. Over Memorial Day Weekend, troopers will strictly enforce impaired driving laws, whether buzzed, drunk, or high. Drivers are strongly encouraged to plan for a sober ride before festivities begin. If you spot an impaired driver, safely pull over and dial *ISP (*477).

Essential Safety Tips from ISP:

  • Check Your Vehicle: Ensure your car is in good working order with a pre-trip inspection. Check the tire pressure, fluid levels, brakes, and air conditioning system.
  • Buckle Up: Your best defense against impaired drivers.
  • Avoid Distractions: Put your phone away and focus on the road. Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents, particularly during the summer.
  • Obey Speed Limits: Speeding is dangerous and increases the likelihood of accidents. Adhere to posted speed limits and drive responsibly.
  • Maintain Safe Distances: Keep a safe buffer between vehicles.
  • Never Drive Impaired: Always plan a sober ride.
  • Stay Hydrated: Keep plenty of water in the car, especially during long trips, to stay hydrated and prevent heat exhaustion.
  • Be Prepared: Pack an emergency kit with essentials like a first-aid kit, flashlight, jumper cables, and essential tools.
  • Watch for Pedestrians & Cyclists: Summer means more people are out walking and biking. Be extra cautious and share the road safely.
  • Plan Your Trip: Check weather conditions and plan your route ahead of time to avoid unexpected delays and hazards.

During the 100 Deadliest Days, teen drivers face higher risks due to immaturity, inexperience, and lack of skills. Nationwide, over 7,000 people died in teen-related crashes between 2010 and 2019 during the summer months. Parents play a crucial role in promoting safe driving habits. Talk with your teens about driving responsibilities, enforce graduated licensing laws, set clear rules, and model good driving behavior. Limiting the number of passengers and restricting nighttime driving reduces crash risks.

The Idaho State Police is dedicated to keeping Idaho roads safe. During the 100 Deadliest Days, drivers are urged to make every trip safe by following traffic laws, avoiding distractions, and never driving impaired.

Seat Belt graphic

Seat Belt Emphasis

Idaho State Police Joins Statewide Seat Belt Enforcement Effort May 20 – June 2, 2024

MERIDIAN, Idaho – The Idaho State Police (ISP) is proud to partner with the Idaho Transportation Department’s Office of Highway Safety (OHS) and law enforcement agencies across Idaho to remind drivers to buckle up.

From May 20 to June 2, 2024, ISP troopers will participate in a statewide effort to enforce seat belt laws and educate Idahoans on the importance of drivers and passengers to buckle up. According to OHS survey data, 87% of Idahoans decide to wear a seat belt, which is easy and increases the odds of surviving a crash by 50%. Unfortunately, in 2022, 66% of the passenger motor vehicle occupants killed in crashes were not wearing a seat belt.

“We know seat belts save lives,” said Lieutenant Colonel Sheldon Kelley, ISP Deputy Director. “This enforcement effort is about more than issuing citations; it’s about reminding our community that buckling up can make the difference between life and death. We want everyone to get home safely.”

  • Make it a habit to buckle up every trip, no matter how short.
  • Troopers will patrol day and night to ensure compliance.
  • Idaho law requires vehicle occupants to be properly restrained.
  • Ensure children are in the correct car seat for their age, height, and weight.

Together, we can make Idaho’s roads safer for everyone. Buckle up, every trip, every time.

The statewide effort coincides with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Click It or Ticket campaign, with law enforcement officers nationwide participating. For more information, visit Shift Idaho.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving presents itself in various forms: adjusting the radio or GPS, applying makeup, and eating and drinking while behind the wheel. However, cell phone use – specifically, texting, talking, and social media engagement – emerges as the most prevalent and dangerous distraction on our roads. Texting, encompassing messaging activities, is deemed the most dangerous type of distracted driving due to its combination of visual, manual, and cognitive distractions.

“Distracted driving poses a threat to every road user. Any distraction, whether adjusting the radio, applying makeup, or texting, can lead to tragic consequences,” says Lieutenant Colonel Sheldon Kelley. “Let’s commit to driving responsibly and remind our friends and family to do the same. The focus should be solely on the road ahead when you’re behind the wheel.”

During 2022 in Idaho, there were over 4,750 distracted driving crashes with 34 fatalities. National Distracted Driving Awareness Month reminds drivers to reassess their behaviors behind the wheel and take responsibility for their actions.

Stay safe and engaged while driving:

  • If you’re texting, pull over.
  • Use a “Designated Texter” so the driver can focus on the road.
  • Avoid “App-Surfing” and scrolling on the phone while driving.

Expect increased statewide law enforcement on the roadways as part of the national campaign to remind drivers of the deadly dangers and the legal consequences of distracted driving.

Make Idaho’s roads safer for everyone.

Distracted Driving graphic
Aggressive Driving graphic
Aggressive Driving graphic - Slow down, enjoy the drive

Aggressive Driving

ISP actively collaborates with law enforcement agencies statewide to address the pressing issue of aggressive driving.

According to data from the Idaho Office of Highway Safety (OHS), aggressive driving contributed to nearly 14,000 crashes and 103 fatalities in 2023, accounting for 27% of all traffic fatalities in the state. This underscores the pressing need for focused enforcement and public education. Regrettably, the rates in 2024 have increased over 2023, emphasizing the urgency of the situation.

Aggressive Driving Behaviors Include:

  • Speeding
  • Driving too fast for conditions
  • Tailgating
  • Reckless lane changes
  • Ignoring traffic signals
  • Failing to yield
  • Cutting in front of another driver and then slowing down
  • Weaving in and out of traffic
  • Changing lanes without signaling
  • Running stop signs

Aggressive driving cost Idahoans an estimated $2.6 billion last year, representing a staggering 44% of the total economic cost of crashes. This financial burden is a stark reminder of the consequences, and ISP urges all drivers to exercise patience and caution. The decisions made behind the wheel can have profound effects on the safety of others.

Parents also play a pivotal role in combating aggressive driving. It’s crucial to discuss the dangers with teenage drivers, who statistics show are 4.2 times more likely to be involved in such incidents. Drivers 19 and younger are significantly overrepresented in aggressive driving collisions. Educating young drivers about safe driving practices is vital in reducing preventable tragedies. Parents have the power to make a difference.

Together, we can work towards safer roads. Visit Shift Idaho for more information on preventing aggressive driving.

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