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Highway deaths rise nationally, fall in Delaware

Delaware Public Media

Highway deaths in America have been on a decline since the 60’s. But last year, the nation saw its highest one-year increase in deaths in 50 years.


Traffic deaths in Delaware, however, are expected to decline after three years of steady increases.



The state is on pace to see 123 traffic deaths by the end of the year, which would be down nearly 8 percent from last year.  


Lisa Flowers of Delaware’s Office of Highway Safety attributes this year’s decline to increased education and enforcement around distracted and impaired driving in the state.

One example is a bill Gov. Jack Markell (D-Delaware) signed in August that doubles the fine for using your phone while driving. 

But Flowers adds the best approach may be changing driving culture.     


“Social norms are that you used to be able to smoke in the workplace, drive without a seatbelt and drink and drive, but those social norms have all changed now,” Flowers said.


The Office of Highway Safety is trying to change the culture so that using social media while driving is as socially unacceptable as drinking and driving.


And the best place to have that conversation is, you guessed it, on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. The state is using a social media campaign to educate people about the dangers of distracted driving.  


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