KANSAS — Officials in Kansas are seeing some startling driving statistics over the past year.

As of Tuesday, the state has seen 22 traffic deaths over the past month which is an 83% increase over the same time period in 2021. Officials say this is most likely due to driving habits formed during the beginning of the pandemic.

“So we saw fewer cars on the road, but the cars that were there were driving at a faster speed, and now that things have opened back up and there’s more and more motorists out there, those people that got into that habit of driving fast are continuing to do and so the number of crashes related to high rates of speed has increased as well,” said David Groves, Cherokee County Sheriff.

Groves recommends being more aware that your driving habits may have changed. Also, make an effort to slow down, buckle-up, and reduce distractions while driving.