Accidents on Kentucky roads dropped 23.9% in 2020, but fatalities increased

As the pandemic altered life in 2020, new data shows the number of collisions on the state’s roads dropped 23.9 percent.
Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 3:32 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - As the pandemic altered life in 2020, new data shows the number of collisions on the state’s roads dropped 23.9 percent.

Just because the number of collisions dropped, it didn’t mean 2020 was less deadly especially when it came to accidents involving drunk drivers.

The 780 people killed in those collisions was the highest total since 2017 and the third highest in the past decade.

Alcohol-related collisions increased when compared the previous year. There were 181 persons killed, 38 percent more than the previous year. There were 2,662 persons injured in alcohol-related collisions, an increase of 9 percent from the previous year.

Each year, Kentucky State Police is required to collect and tabulate traffic collision reports from all law enforcement agencies in the state.

  • Approximately 1 of every 5,747 Kentucky residents died as a result of a fatal traffic collision on a public road in the state.
  • About 1 in 154 Kentucky residents was injured in a traffic collision.
  • Driver inattention was blamed as the top contributing factor for all collisions in 2020. It was the cause in 1 of every 3 collisions.
  • There were 525 males versus 248 females killed in 2020. The two age groups with the highest number of deaths were those between 25 and 34 years old followed by those between 15 and 24 years old.
  • While more collisions happened on rural stretches of roads in 2020, drivers getting into crashes in urban areas experienced more deadly results.
  • Fridays followed by Thursdays were the most dangerous days of the week on Kentucky roads with 17,340 collisions happening as drivers headed into the weekend. Sundays had the fewest number of reported collisions.
  • January was the only month to see more than 10,000 collisions while collisions dropped to nearly half in April which was the safest month.
  • The vast majority of collisions on Kentucky roads in 2020 happened on what was reported as dry roads. Approximately 79 percent happened in dry conditions compared to 18.3 percent on wet roadways.
  • While 68 percent of all collisions happened during daylight hours, 51.1 percent of fatalities happened during daytime.

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