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Fatal Crashes Increase

WI Fatal Crashes Increase Due to Alcohol & Drugs

Story By Sierra Whaley
Local News Published 12/03/2020 9:23AM, Last Updated 12/03/2020 9:55AM
Rhinelander -

Throughout the pandemic traffic across the nation has slowed down as more people have stayed home. 

However throughout the state of Wisconsin, fatal crashes influenced by alcohol or substance use have increased over the past ten months. 

The Wisconsin Policy Forum found alcohol-related fatalities increased by 50% based on a study in 2020 relative to the same period a year earlier.

 Drug involved crash fatalities increased by 46% and crash fatalities that involved speeding increased by about 52%. Oneida County Patrol Sergeant, Elisha Williams has warned residents and visitors about safety time and time again.

"We want people to understand that deteriorating road conditions throughout the area, partnered with alcohol and controlled substance use, they're a deadly combination," says Sergeant Williams.

Just last weekend Oneida county reported 19 vehicle related accidents involving alcohol and substance use. However the cause of these crashes have a new concern and that's weather conditions. 

Black ice and frozen roads in the Northwoods are dangerous and it's important to understand what you're driving through beforehand.

Mark Sommerhauser from the Wisconsin Policy Forum says traffic has been slow across the state but the increase in fatal crashes is alarming. With the holidays present, he encourages us to remember the basics, do not drink and drive.

"If you're going to be at an event where they're going to be having anything to drink, you know make a plan to get home safe," says Sommerhauser.

Please make sure to check weather conditions before driving and if drinking at an event, make sure to have a designated driver.

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