None of those killed on Kentucky highways over the Labor Day weekend used seat belts or safety helmets, suggesting that at least some deaths might have been prevented, according to a news release from the Kentucky Department of Transportation.
Thirteen people were killed along Kentucky highways during the long holiday period, Friday through Monday. Nine were in motor vehicles. Three other fatalities involved a motorcycle, a bicycle and an ATV. One pedestrian was fatally injured. Three fatalities were alcohol related.
"Labor Day weekend is typically one of the worst in terms of highway fatalities," said Chuck Geveden, executive director of the Office of Highway Safety. "And the numbers never lie. There are too many people driving without seat belts and helmets, and too many people driving drunk."
The fatality total was one fewer than for the same holiday period in 2007. Statewide in Kentucky last year, 391 (55.9 percent) of 864 motor vehicle fatalities were not restrained. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent and the risk of injury by 50 percent. For light truck occupants, seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 60 percent and injury by 65 percent.