100 most-traveled days highlight ongoing traffic safety crisis

Published 5:51 pm Tuesday, September 14, 2021

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During the 100 most-traveled days of the year (Memorial Day through Labor Day), preliminary reports show 167 people have died on Minnesota roads, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Public Safety (DPS-OTS).

Of the 167 fatalities, preliminary reports show:

• 47 were speed-related;

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• 29 unbelted motorists were killed in traffic crashes;

• Seven were distracted driving-related fatalities; and

• 35 were alcohol-related fatalities.

The 167 deaths this summer are the most for the period since at least 2010.

The initial summer travel fatality figures demonstrate an ongoing traffic safety crisis. Preliminary numbers from the DPS-OTS show 321 fatalities on Minnesota roads in 2021 compared with 256 reported this time last year.

“We’re grateful most Minnesotans understand that driving is a serious activity and requires their commitment to safety every single time they’re on the road,” said Office of Traffic Safety Director Mike Hanson. “What’s so disheartening is when the pandemic hit, an increase in dangerous driving choices by other Minnesotans soon followed. Those choices are continuing to plague our roads a year and a half later. Speeding is contributing to so much tragedy, and the summer was no exception. Talk to your family and friends about safe driving choices. Model that behavior. We all can make those simple decisions to drive smart and live.”

Law enforcement throughout the state will hold extra seat belt patrols from Sept. 19-30.