Every life saved is a success, but more can be done to prevent fatality crashes

The good news – Kansas Department of Transportation preliminary crash notifications for 2022 show Kansas experienced a 3% decrease in fatalities compared to 2021. The bad news – vehicle crashes continue to be one of the state’s main causes of preventable deaths.

“We hardly can celebrate 413 lives lost in 2022 compared to a total of 424 lives in 2021, because even one death is one too many,” said Vanessa Spartan, KDOT Transportation Safety Bureau Chief. “That said, while many states in the nation are experiencing an increase in fatal crashes, Kansas experienced a decrease. Behind those numbers are the families and friends we must remember. But it is positive that 11 more families were able to continue with their daily lives and enjoy last year in comparison to 2021.”

No life lost is the goal, and 413 lives lost in vehicle crashes is 413 too many. Loss of life and serious injury not only leaves families and friends grieving emotionally, but results in economic stress for families, employers and communities.

“We are in this together,” Spartan said. “Everyone sets the tone by example by building a community intolerance toward dangerous driving behaviors that can lead to a vehicle crash. Far too often, loss of life and serious injury could be avoided by wearing a seat belt, slowing down and following traffic laws.”

The public will soon see more information about Drive to Zero Kansas, a new educational traffic safety campaign KDOT is promoting in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The goal is to reduce crashes, death and serious injury through education, enforcement, emergency response and engineering.

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