Study: Higher speed limit leading to more deaths on Kan. roads

A new study from Kansas State University shows a higher speed limit ls leading to more deaths on Kansas roads.

Fatal and injury crashes are up 35 percent in recent years and the study points to increased speed limits as a factor. However, Kansas State Trooper Ben Gardner says other factors to consider are what drivers are doing behind the wheel. Specifically, he cites smart phone use as the biggest distraction for drivers.

"We sometimes, as we're driving, cry out loud while we're driving and say, 'That person needs a ticket,' or, 'That person needs to go to jail, where's an officer,'' Gardner says of alert drivers observing those who appear distracted. 'Because that is unacceptable. That's happening all around us and it's getting worse and worse with technology and the speed of life that we're in. So, what can we do? We can control what we do."

Gardner says Friday he pulled over one woman who was shaving her legs while driving. While the speed limit is a big factor relating to highway safety, Gardner emphasizes it's not the only reason for more fatalities and encourages Kansans to take action and stop driving while distracted.