VCSO concerned about spike in fatal crashes - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

VCSO concerned about spike in fatal crashes

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) -

Though they can't file a report on a distracted driver, Evansville-Vanderburgh Central Dispatch can use a B-O-L, a "be on the lookout call" dispatchers send them out to any officers on patrol.

It warns them about someone driving erratically.

"Sometimes you hear somebody say hey, they're on a phone, or you can tell they obviously weren't paying attention on a phone and almost hit me," says Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding.  

Wedding says distracted driving played a role in many of the 3,000 crashes that have happened so far in 2017. Of those 3,000 crashes, nine were deadly and seven of those happened in just the last three months, according to the Sheriff's Office. 

Sheriff Wedding says that puts the county on track for 20 deadly crashes by the end of the year. Much of that's because more people are on the road in the summertime.

Sheriff Wedding says Vanderburgh County's had upwards of 20 deadly crashes before, but a string of them happening in such short a time period is unusual.

"20 is fairly high, now we've hit 20, we've hit more than 20, but when you start hitting nine in the middle of June, that's worrisome," Wedding explained. 

On June 10th, a man on a motorcycle crashed into a fence on US-41, the same road Elizabeth Winstead says she uses at least three days a week. While that motorcyclist may not have been distracted driving, Winstead says she sees drivers that aren't paying attention way too often. 

"They're not staying in their lane, and they're on the cell phone and, it's disgusting," Winstead says. "I just stay my distance, or if I'm on the other side I just try to speed up."

Though investigators can't determine if distracted driving caused many crashes, they can use the B.O.L, to track down erratic drivers before they put themselves or other people in danger.

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