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Kentucky Traffic Deaths Up In 2014

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The number of traffic fatalities in Kentucky in 2014 surpassed those in 2013 before the year came to an end—despite officials' earlier hopes that the state was poised to improve its road death numbers.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet told media that there had been 644 traffic-related deaths as of Dec. 29. That's compared to 635 deaths in the same time frame in 2013.

Several things likely factored into the increase, including the lack of seat belt usage by more than half of those killed and the lower price of gasoline, said Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokesman Keith Todd.

When gas is cheaper, more people are out driving longer distances creating a greater chance of crashes, he said.

There also seems to be an increase in the number of distracted drivers, said Todd.