JEROME, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) As roads dry out people may feel safe driving faster, and may be more receptive to distractions while behind the wheel. At least that's Jerome County Sheriff Doug McFall's theory.
On the surface it may seem safer to drive in the spring. After all you don't have to combat ice and snow, and visibility isn't as much of an issue. Mcfall says the raw numbers of incidents on the road even goes down.
"Unfortunately those crashes that do occur on dry roads are usually more severe because the traffic's traveling faster," McFall said.
Crashes are more likely to cause an injury and result in more damage to cars. Where one crash occurs, another one is more likely to follow as well. McFall estimates that one in 10 crashes they work on result in secondary crashes.
"Secondary collisions are collisions that occur after the original collision due to following too close or traffic backing up or what we call rubbernecking," McFall said.
The idea is that people are distracted by what is happening as they pass, they slow down and the person behind them may also be distracted and not notice the slower pace of travel.
What's more is people now have a camera readily available at all times on their phone. So as they drive by, they are tempted to take pictures or film.
"I've seen it," McFall said. "I've seen drivers try to drive and video something at the same time and there against hat's inattentive driving. If you end up with a collision, running into someone, you're probably going to get a citation for at least inattentive driving if not reckless driving."
McFall said he sees more of these secondary crashes on the freeway and the stretch of road North of the Perrine Bridge near the Jerome and Twin Falls County Border.