December 2002 - Monthly Fatality Report

Department of Public Safety officials report a decrease of 18 traffic fatalities in December for a total of 42, compared to 60 in the same month the year before.

One of the 42 victims was a pedestrian which leaves the total of those killed in vehicle crashes at 41. The highest daily numbers include nine deaths on Mondays dropping to eight on both Tuesdays and Saturdays. There were nine deathless days in the month.

Seven of the vehicle crashes were alcohol-related in the opinion of the investigating state, county or municipal officer. There were 25 male and 17 female victims, and four of the fatalities were not residents of Oklahoma.

The leading number of deaths by age group was 10 in the 21- to 30-year-olds followed by seven in the 71 and over category. Tulsa County led the state with a fatality count of six followed by four deaths in Creek County.

Fifty-four percent of those who died in traffic crashes were not wearing safety belts at the time of the crash, according to DPS statistics. Unsafe speed continues to be the number one cause for fatalities with a count of 12 last month. Five people died because the driver failed to stop or yield and three deaths were caused when the driver traveled left of center or made an illegal pass of another vehicle.