Kansas officials say the troubling rise in traffic fatalities across the state is accelerating.
AAA spokeswoman Jennifer Haugh tells the Wichita Eagle that Kansas is currently averaging more than one traffic fatality a day.
Data from AAA shows that there have been nearly 175 traffic deaths across the state this year through the end of May. That’s a 13 percent increase over the same time frame a year ago and a 44 percent increase from 2015.
Haugh says cheaper gas prices usually result in people driving more miles, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they drive safer. She says not wearing seatbelts and having short attention spans can contribute to the fatality increase.
AAA reports that there were more than 430 traffic deaths in Kansas for all of 2016.