MILWAUKEE — Fatal crashes are on the rise in 2022 and it has officials concerned. As of Wednesday, there have been 107 fatalities due to crashes across Wisconsin.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, that number is 22 more than this same time frame last year.
"It's a huge concern when you run the numbers. There are approximately 1.5 fatalities per day right now," said Michael Schwendau, Program and Policy Chief at the Bureau of Transportation Safety.
So far this year, 19 people have been killed in Milwaukee County, including two fatalities on Highway 100.
Behind Milwaukee is Dane County with 13 fatalities and Kenosha County with five. Schwendau said this trend is troubling, especially as we are heading into the summer months, he says that's when deadly crashes tend to spike.
"We are very nervous about the summer, I should say looking forward to this year, because if it maintains at this pace it's going to be worse than 2017. You know we're going to exceed 600 fatalities again," said Schwendau.
According to the Department of Transportation, about 89% of Wisconsinites wear their seat belt, which is one of the simple ways to prevent a fatality. But, Schwendau said that number is not enough.
"One of the primary ways people can save themselves, of course, is by buckling up," said Schwendau. "Buckle up, don't drive impaired, and put the phone down."