Roads were more crowded because wintery weather didn’t keep people at home and those on the road were moving faster because drivers weren’t worried about slippery spots and other winter hazards. So the message for 2013 is the same message troopers send out repeatedly: Slow down, wear your seat belt, don’t drink and drive, and avoid distractions, Roeske said.
“Although we have a higher volume of crashes in the winter, most fatalities are in the summer due to speed and the number of people on the roads,” he said. “Regardless of the numbers, we still see the same factors involved: speed, alcohol and seat belts.”
An effort by public safety officials to repeat that message throughout the years has contributed to dropping traffic fatalities, but there are many other factors bringing the death counts down, Roeske said. Better highways, improved vehicle safety equipment and advances in emergency medical care also are saving lives.