Traffic fatalities are rising across Minnesota. If the trends seen through late October of 2021 continue through the rest of the year, they may hit their highest number since 2007. Many Minnesota traffic fatalities have similar characteristics in common. So, recognizing these common factors and working to mitigate them may help reduce traffic deaths in the years to come.
According to Fox 21, there were already 401 traffic deaths in Minnesota as of late October 2021. Rising traffic fatalities rates are also not unique to Minnesota.
Recognizing contributing factors
Studies show that, of the 401 traffic deaths seen statewide since the start of 2021, 130 of them involved motorists traveling at a high or reckless rate of speed. Another 104 of them involved motorists driving under the influence, while 18 involved distracted drivers. Seat belt use was another contributing factor, with 85 of those who lost their lives on Minnesota’s roadways not wearing seat belts at the time of their crashes.
Reducing contributing factors
Minnesota traffic and safety officials believe more education and outreach is necessary to make the public aware of the growing problem. Some communities across the state are also ramping up their enforcement of speeders to help reduce the number of fatal crashes involving speed. Safety officials are also warning the public that winter driving factors, such as inclement weather, make it especially important to exercise care behind the wheel.
If Minnesota’s current traffic death trends continue for the rest of the year, there are going to be 475 road fatalities in Minnesota in 2021, which is the highest number since 2007.