LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Lexington has seen an increase in car accidents in 2021 and it's only expected to get worse during the summer months.
"I think it goes further than the pandemic. It happens every year, traditionally, toward the summertime," said Sgt. Gary Thurman, who tracks and covers traffic enforcement and accidents for Lexington police.
LPD data shows collisions and fatalities have gone up every month in 2021 since early this year. March, April and May saw more accidents in 2020. LPD expects to see more of an uptick in June and July.
So far this year there have been 5,371 accidents in Lexington. That's an 8.7% increase from last year. But for fatalities, there's been a 71.4% increase.
"Normally, toward the summer, we have an influx of traffic on the roadway people vacation, taking time off to visit family members, and with increased travel on the road we do see increasing collisions," said Thurman.
He says they always trying to mitigate as much as possible.
AAA expects 48 million people to travel for Independence Day weekend nationwide. However, at the same time, this stretch is referred to as the 100 deadliest days of summer.
"We have more young experienced inexperienced drivers out on our roadways over the summer," said Lori Weaver Hawins. "Between Memorial Day, or Labor Day is the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers because they are more likely to be involved in a crash during that time period and they're often very serious crashes."
This summer they expect a much larger amount of people on the roads compared to last year and more dangerous driving trends.
"It does seem like we're seeing a bit more aggressive behavior in driving, and that could be a spillover from the pandemic where, you know, people were shut up in their homes, maybe a little more self-absorbed," said Weaver Hawins.
Thurman says one of the biggest causes for these deadly and injury collisions is inattention or literally not focusing on what you're doing while on the road.
It's hard to avoid the unpredictable, but there are some things you can do: Slow down, follow the speed limit, wear your seatbelt, put the phones down and stay on top of your car maintenance.
LPD is also working on getting to the bottom of why so many wrong-way crashes seem to be happening on the circle.
LPD shared areas with the highest injury collisions.
N Broadway and W Sixth, KY4 Exit 7 ramp from US421 & Leestown Rd, and E-W Vine Street and S Limestone intersections were the highest with six injury collisions.