Wyoming Highway Traffic Deaths Spiked this Summer

Seven out of 17 reported fatal crash victims died because they weren't wearing seat belts, according to data from WYDOT officials.

In 2016 over 1,900 crashes occurred in Natrona County, falling second behind Laramie with almost 2,000 according to data.

Currently there have been 66 fatalities in Wyoming in 2017.

Officials told News 13, these numbers have spiked during the summer.

WYDOT Spokesman Jeff Goetz shared, “Our crashes tend to happen during the peak tourist season. We have Sturgis coming up that seems to always account for some sort of motorcycle or RV motorcycle car crash."

There were 24 motorcycle deaths in 2016.

Staff shared Wyoming fatalities could be due to visitors being unaware of the higher speed limits.

WYDOT officials want everyone to take notice of their speed.

"One thing people from other states may not realize is that our interstate speeds are 80 miles an hour. That’s a lot faster 70 or 75 then a lot of the other states. Pay attention to that pay attention to the speed limit. "

Drivers travel at the speed around 80 miles an hour on I-25 and Wyoming Highway Patrol said it would take them the length of a football field to stop, which leaves little room for error.

WHP Trooper Jason Swawdon commented, “Watch your following distance, make sure you're following three seconds or great behind vehicles that’s really important when it comes to avoidance maneuvers."

Sawdon added knowing your distance between other vehicles could mean life or death.

"It’s about one point five seconds in order to perceive an issue react to it and then respond to it as a driver in a vehicle."

Sawdon felt the hardest part of his job, is delivering the message no one wants to hear.

"He would have been a live if he would have been wearing his seatbelt or she would have been alive if she would have been wearing her seatbelt that is one the most difficult things for me to do as a state trooper."