January 2004 - Monthly Fatality Report

Department of Public Safety officials report an increase of 20 traffic fatalities to a total of 62 in January compared to 42 in the same month last year.

One of the 62 victims was a motorcyclist and two were pedestrians which leaves the total of those killed in vehicle crashes at 59 . The highest daily numbers include 13 deaths on Saturdays dropping to ten deaths on both Mondays and Thursdays.

Ten of the vehicle crashes were alcohol-related in the opinion of the investigating state, county or municipal officer. There were 41 male and 21 female victims, and seven of the fatalities were nonresidents of Oklahoma.

The leading number of deaths by age group was 12 in the 17- to 20-year-olds followed by 11 in both the 21- to 30-year-old and 31- to 40-year-old categories. Tulsa County led the state with a fatality count of 10 followed by eight deaths in Oklahoma County.

Fifty-one percent of those who died in traffic collisions were not wearing safety belts at the time of the crash, according to DPS statistics. Unsafe speed has consistently been the number one cause of traffic deaths, killing a total of 18 last month. Eleven people died when the driver failed to stop or yield and six died due to travelling left of center or improper passing.