Wichita police: City averages about 800 vehicle crashes per month
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - In a season where there are typically more drivers on the road, the Wichita Police Department reports the city averaging about 800 vehicle crashes per month. Looking at the overall increase in crashes, police say the most common cause is distracted driving and in many cases, drivers are looking down at their cellphones.
“Everybody just kind of has to be a defensive driver and kind of watch out for each other because, like I said, we average about 800 accidents a month. That’s a lot,” said WPD Captain Wendell Nicholson. “I think if people just kind of slow down, try and get there slowly and safely, not be inattentive, I think our numbers would go down.”
Many crashes are minor, but this year, 23 people have died in crashes in Wichita. With crashes involving motorcycles, Wichita police report seven riders dying through the year’s first seven months. In all of 2021, nine riders died in crashes in the city.
“There’s not a whole lot of give when a two-wheel car meets a four-wheel car. The weight, size and speed disparity is definitely an issue,” Captain Nicholson said.
If you’re involved in a crash, no matter how minor, you’ll likely also face issues with trying to get your vehicle into the shop.
“It can take awhile because every shop I’ve talked to is pretty booked up,” said Mike’s Body Shop Owner Michael Hutchinson. “We’re setting in September, getting close to September, we’re way into August. Parts shortages, employee shortages, just can’t get enough help anywhere.”
Wichita police said efforts to make the city’s streets safer include talks with traffic engineers, posting more officers at frequent crash areas and working to educate people by giving out more warnings to explain how dangerous the roads can be.
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