DAILY DIRT: Hey, Illinois drivers … ease up on that gas pedal

sammy 55

Sammy Hagar loves St. Louis and probably driving in Illinois

Daily Dirt for Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023

If you want to drive at excessive speeds, become a NASCAR driver … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 732 of The Daily Dirt.

1. Illinois has earned another unwanted ranking.

Slow down, people!

Not only is the land Abe Lincoln made famous among the nation’s lowest-ranked states for gas prices, health care quality, overall fiscal stability and growth, it is now No. 7 for its citizens most frequently driving at dangerously high speeds.

Earlier this month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a report on speeding and its impact on road safety. The report shed light on an alarming increase in traffic-related fatalities caused by excessive speeding in recent years. 

Here are a few of the interesting findings of that NHSTA report:

Male drivers involved in fatal crashes: Illinois No. 3, Missouri No. 14.

Female drivers involved in fatal crashes: Illinois No. 3, Missouri No. 19.

States most frequently driving at dangerously high speeds: Illinois No. 7, Missouri No. 16.

Other key numbers tied to speeding in general:

28 percent of fatal crashes, 13 percent of injury crashes and 9 percent of property-damage-only crashes were connected with speeding-related traffic offenses.

Speeding-related fatalities have increased by 19 percent in the last 10 years.

Speeding becomes an increasingly important factor for drivers involved in fatal crashes as roadway surface conditions deteriorate. The National Safety Council reports that speeding was a factor in fatal crashes for:

  • 18 percent of drivers on dry roads
  • 22 percent on wet roads
  • 32 percent on roads with snow or slush
  • 33 percent on roads with ice or frost
  • 38 percent on roads with moving or standing water
  • 43 percent on roads with mud, dirt or gravel

2. Let’s celebrate the best songs that were dominating the airwaves 60 years ago. That’s S-I-X-T-Y. 

Gold medal: “Be My Baby,” by the Ronettes. One of the best girl groups ever and fronted by the fabulous Ronnie Spector, who left this world in January 2022 at age 78.

Silver medal: “Then He Kissed Me,” by the Crystals. The Crystals sounded just like the Ronettes.

Bronze medal: “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” by the Beatles. From the “Meet the Beatles!” album. When the song was released in England, it sold 1.5 million copies in a month.

3. My wife is ecstatic (No, I have not given up watching sports on TV).

The lovely Mrs. Eighinger just learned the Hallmark parade of new Christmas movies starts Oct. 20. There are 42 — count ’em, 42 — new films ready to entertain. Be still my beating heart.. (Sarcasm definitely intended.)

“The very first autumn leaves may have just begun to fall, but it’s already beginning to look a lot like Christmas over at Hallmark,” writes Emlyn Travis for Entertainment Weekly. “Fully leaning into the festive spirit, the network has crafted its impressive list of holiday programming, checked it twice, and is officially set to debut 42 new Christmas movies that will premiere on the Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, and its streaming service Hallmark Movies Now.”

I can’t wait. (Yes, that was more sarcasm.)

Steve Thought O’ The Day — I can pretty much guarantee in about a month that the two most popular channels in the Eighinger household will be ESPN and Hallmark, and not necessarily in that order. 

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. He actually loves Hallmark Christmas movies.

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