pexels.com for wed editorial

The numbers for Nebraska traffic deaths moved in a disturbing direction last year — up 9% increase over the five-year average. In late December, traffic deaths totaled 249. Rural roads accounted for a majority of the fatalities.

Pedestrian deaths totaled 19, down from 24 at the same time in 2018 but still a 13% increase over the five-year average, The World-Herald’s Kevin Cole reports. Several children in the Omaha area were among the pedestrians who lost their lives in 2019, spurring needed calls for better street safety policies by municipalities and responsible driving by adults.

The ingredients for safe driving are well known but too often ignored: Wear a seat belt. Don’t fiddle with your phone. Don’t drink and drive. Adopt sound driving practices as conditions change, such as rain, snow or darkness.

Above all, as a driver or pedestrian, pay close attention to your surroundings.

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