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AAA: Traffic fatalities reach 7-year high

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MGN photo(KALB)
Published: Jul. 11, 2016 at 10:30 PM CDT
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At just over halfway through the year, the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety reported more than 100 deadly crashes in the state.

A new report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows the state is on track to reach the highest fatality rate since 2008 with 246 traffic deaths in 2015.

In Nebraska, gas prices have continued to slide for 30 straight days meaning more people are on the road.

That's why state patrol reminds drivers to buckle up so if a crash does happen, the chance of survival increases.

"I want to see my daughter again. I don't want to die because of somebody's negligence," said truck driver, Ronald Singer. "We try to focus, we try to be safe for other drivers, especially four-wheelers."

Singer added there have been too many instances when reckless drivers have endangered him on his route. He said he works to stay safe to avoid potential injuries, lawsuits or death.

"I mean, anything could happen," he said. "[For instance, if] You don't see someone is cutting off right in front of you, you slam on your brakes- you might end up fish tailing and coming into my lane. I've had a few close calls where i actually thought i was going to kill that person because of their negligence."

When going 60 miles per hour, these trucks travel at 88 feet per second. And keep in mind, it takes a truck 300 feet to make a complete stop.

Roadway crashes have claimed the lives of 104 people in Nebraska this year, an 11-percent drop from one year ago, according to the NOHS.

"The common factor is, I believe about 70 percent of the fatalities were not wearing seatbelts," added NSP Lt. Jeromy McCoy.

One Grand Islander said a big contributor to safe driving is the convenience and ease of driving on Interstate 80.

"I think the interstate here is pretty easy to travel on," Fitzgerald Graves said. "The police force does a good job of getting people who are being reckless or unsafe on the roads."