OHP reports increased traffic deaths in February

Department of Public Safety officials report an increase of 7 traffic fatalities in February for a total of 40, compared to 33 in the same month last year.

"It has been over a year that an increase has been reported in our monthly fatality comparison to the previous year's numbers," said Trooper Pete Norwood, spokesperson. "We can attribute a good portion of these to be drivers traveling at unsafe speeds during the inclement weather we have had throughout our state."

Six of the 40 victims were pedestrians which leaves the total of those killed in vehicle crashes at 34. The highest daily numbers included 16 deaths on Wednesdays, dropping to seven on Tuesdays. There were nine deathless days in the month.

Five of the vehicle crashes were alcohol-related in the opinion of the investigating state, county or municipal officer. There were 28 male and 12 female victims, and 12 of the fatalities were nonresidents of Oklahoma.

The leading number of deaths by age group was 12 in the 31- to 40-year-olds, dropping to seven in the 21- to 30-year-old group. Oklahoma County led the state with a fatality count of seven, followed by four deaths in Roger Mills County and three in Creek County.

Eighty-one percent of those who died in traffic crashes were not wearing safety belts at the time of the crash, according to DPS statistics. The leading causes of fatal traffic crashes were unsafe speed with a total 11 deaths, six because the driver traveled left of center and three due to improper turn.