The Wyoming Highway Patrol says the number of highway fatalities in Wyoming for 2014 has reached 137 so far this year.

Sgt. Dave Wagener says many have asked why the fatalities are so much higher than the total number of fatalities for the entire year of 2013 totaling 87. He says the low number of fatalities in 2013 was a positive accomplishment, but was not expected to become the normal trend.

He says a 20 year comparison from 1994 to now though show is showing a continued downward trend in the number of fatalities from crashes in Wyoming.

In 1999, 189 lives were lost due to vehicle crashes. 2006 observed 195 fatalities on Wyoming's highways. Crashes in 2010 resulted in the loss of 153 lives. As stated earlier, 2013 resulted in the lowest number of fatalities in that 20 year time frame of 87. The yearly average in that 20 year span is 160.9 fatalities per year.

Preliminary numbers so far in 2014 through October 31st show that 64 of 126 fatalities were not buckled in or restrained properly and 40 of 126 fatalities involved alcohol, drugs or a combination of alcohol and drugs.

Wagener says the patro lfeels that one fatality per year is one too many. He adds the Highway Patrol can educate drivers and enforce violations, but ultimately, it is up to drivers to make good decisions when they get behind the wheel.

Wear your seat belt, place your children in proper child restraints, don't drive impaired, put the distractions away and focus on the driving task, get plenty of rest, plan ample time to arrive at your destination, maintain the safety aspects of your vehicle such as tires, brakes, lights, signals and windshield wipers and obey speed limits and other traffic laws.

As we have entered one of the busiest travel weeks in the United States for the Thanksgiving holiday, we want to see everyone arrive at their destinations safely.