2018 traffic deaths increase from 2017

Published 8:24 am Friday, January 4, 2019

Preliminary reports show there were 380 traffic deaths on Minnesota roads in 2018, compared with 358 in 2017, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety .

According to preliminary numbers, of the 380 deaths in 2018:

• At least 27 are known to be distraction-related, compared with 25 in 2017;

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• 100 were speed-related, compared with 88 in 2017;

• 121 were alcohol-related, compared with 113 in 2017;

• 90 were not wearing their seat belts, compared with 78 in 2017;

• 58 were motorcyclists, compared with 53 in 2017. Of the 58 motorcyclists who died, 42 (72 percent) were not wearing a helmet;

• 7 were bicyclists, compared with 6 in 2017;

• 42 were pedestrians, compared with 42 in 2017; and

• 266 were males (70 percent) and 114 were females (30 percent).

“The time is now to commit to safe driving habits every time you get behind the wheel,” said Mike Hanson, Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety director. “No more multitasking, no more getting behind when you are impaired, no more speeding because you are in a rush, and no more excuses about not buckling up. Join the majority of Minnesotans who put safety first when driving and together we can stop the preventable deaths on our roads and save lives.”

Officers, deputies and troopers will continue extra enforcement in 2019, focusing on the four dangerous behaviors that contribute to most traffic deaths on our roads.

• Distracted: April 8-30

• Seat belt and child restraints: May 20- June 2

• Speed: June 18-July 21

• DWI: Aug. 16- Sept. 2

• Seat belt and child restraints: Sept. 16-28

• DWI: Multiple dates in November and December

“While law enforcement can continue to educate and enforce the rules of the road, we need everyone’s help,” said Lt. Gordon Shank, Minnesota State Patrol. “If you see a dangerous behavior, speak up or call 911. Doing so may save your life and the lives of innocent people on our roads.”