Summer travel season brings increased crash risk - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Summer travel season brings increased crash risk

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

Our roads are busy and officials said with more cars on the road, there's more chances for mistakes.

"In the summer time, we see more traffic passing through, maybe on vacation, tourism traffic, more traffic because the kids are out of school, both college and high school. So the over all traffic numbers go up," said Wisconsin State Patrol Lt. Steve Krueger.

State Patrol officials said this time of year brings the highest average number of crashes on our highways and along with it, the highest average number of fatalities.

According to the Wisconsin State Patrol, over the past four years, on average, most crashes occurred during June, July and August.

During those months, on average, about 60 people died in crashes each month. In comparison, about 30 people died in March.

"The number of crashes going up, and the injuries and the fatal crashes going up still, are largely attributable to driver behavior," said Lt. Krueger.

State Patrol officials said they are working to reduce accidents.

The state is installing signs with real-time road information, there's more patrols in construction zones, and airplanes are being used to watch for aggressive drivers.

"I think it's made a big difference, I think in the summer time we see a lot of orange barrels all over the place, and sometimes maybe we start to ignore them to a certain extent," said Lt. Krueger.

With school out, the summer travel season has just started and State Patrol officers want fewer crashes as the highways get more congested.

"We're hoping we can change that, we're hoping that the drivers change that," said Lt. Krueger.

State Patrol officials said this year, there have been no major crashes in Marathon County's three construction zones.

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