Idaho's number of fatal vehicle crashes and the lives they claim continue a downward trend.
The Idaho Transportation Department recently released its 2010 crash report, which notes that fatalities dropped for a fifth straight year. The 2010 tally was 209 fatalities from 185 crashes, 7.5 percent fewer deaths statewide than in 2009. In District 4, which includes the eight counties of south-central Idaho, 39 people were killed on Idaho roadways last year. That figure has continued its downward trend since 2007.
Although the number of deaths is decreasing, the cause of those crashes increasingly points to impaired driving. The report cites 96 fatal crashes as the result of driving under the influence, nearly a 30 percent increase from the year prior.
Seat belt usage appears to be up across the state, but ITD only reports an "observational study" in a handful of counties each year rather than all 44 counties. Included from this region were Blaine, Cassia, Minidoka and Twin Falls counties, and all but Cassia County reported increases in safety restraint usage. Cassia County's figures dropped by 7.6 percent.
The report claims that in 2010, 72 people across the state died in crashes during which they were not wearing a safety restraint.
The total number of all crashes statewide in 2010 also decreased by 1.9 percent.