By Lauren Gibbs
You may notice more California Highway Patrol officers on Interstate 80 starting Wednesday.
It's all part of a nationwide "I-80 Challenge" to cut down on fatalities on the interstate.
Someone is killed in a traffic collision every eight days on Interstate 80 in California, according to a press release. During the 8-day challenge, which runs July 24-31, CHP has one goal: no fatalities on those days.
They hope to reach this goal by enhancing traffic safety and enforcement.
“A majority of collisions and roadway deaths are preventable if motorists follow basic traffic safety rules,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow, in a press release.
The “I-80 Challenge” was organized by the Iowa State Patrol after research found an increase in traffic fatalities along Interstate 80 during the summer vacation months.
Interstate 80 Accident Statistics (according to CHP and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration):
- Someone dies in a collision every eight days on Interstate 80 in California. Of those fatalities, 22 percent are speed related, 4 percent are attributed to distracted driving, 27 percent are alcohol related and 30 percent involved the failure to wear a seat belt.
- more than 21,000 passenger vehicle occupants across the nation were killed in traffic crashes in 2011. Of those fatalities, 52 percent were not wearing seat belts at the time of the collision. Approximately 9,900 people were killed in drunk driving crashes, with more than 3,330 killed in collisions involving a distracted driver. Nearly 10,000 lives were lost in speeding-related collisions.
- More than 77,842 collisions or an average of 21.32 crashes each day and 498 people killed in Interstate 80 collisions from 2001 to 2011 in California.
CHP is partnering with 10 other state highway patrol agencies across the nation for this challenge.
“We are excited to partner with our colleagues across the nation to improve safety along the Interstate 80 corridor in California,” Farrow said in a release. “California’s highways are safer when everyone follows basic traffic safety rules: always wear a seat belt, drive at a speed safe for roadway conditions, eliminate distractions while driving, and always designate a sober driver."