‘Human error’: Kansas seeing increase in fatal car accidents


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A year after having fewer fatal car accidents and deaths on the road, those numbers are climbing toward a saddening normal.

“We are all in this together,” says Kansas Trooper Chad Crittenden. “We all want to get to point A and point B alive.”

The sad reality is not every one does.

“Our numbers are on the rise again in 2019 from where we were last year in 2018,” Crittenden explains.

2019 is proving to be a difficult year. Two hundred twenty people are dead from fatal accidents. That number is likely higher as the state still must process a deadly cash from last week.

“We get in our vehicles, and it is just a mode of transportation for us,” Crittenden explains. “We don’t think about what this vehicle actually is. It is a big violent weapon.”

KHP tracks the numbers from the state database system to find out why there are accidents. They believe alcohol plays a large factor but there is a reason that is not on the database list: Complacency.

“Maybe they were utilizing the phone or were distracted for some reason,” Crittenden says. “If we are distracted, even manipulating the temperature control in the vehicle, looking away from what we are doing, we could potentially run someone over.”

Kansas reports that four out of the top five contributing circumstances are driver related.

“Ninety percent of our crashes are human error,” Crittenden said. “If you get rid of all the human error crashes, and we are killing close to 40,000 people every year, over 400 in Kansas, we could eliminate that. That is still way to many people dying on our roadways.”

The complete statistics for 2018 and 2019 have not yet been released. KSN’s John Asebes found that since 2003, the highest occurring contributing circumstance for crashing is failure to give time and attention while on the road.

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