Road deaths on the rise
Question: I keep reading all these fatalities in the news. What is going on there?
Answer: Here is some information we shared on our Department of Security blog about the ongoing crisis: Minnesota Road Fatalities.
The 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day this year continued a worrying trend of road fatalities. These 100 days are the busiest days of the year on the roads of Minnesota, and this year they have been particularly tragic. Preliminary figures show 167 people have died in traffic accidents during the busiest 100 days of this year. They accounted for more than half of the 349 road fatalities through September this year.
And if 349 road fatalities by September seem high, they are. That’s a 25% increase from around the same time last year and a 30% increase from that period in 2019. People are dying on Minnesota roads in record numbers, and we’re doing it all. our best to stop it. But we can’t do it without your help.
In line with the worrying tendency of drivers to ignore the speed limit, 47 of the road fatalities in the top 100 days traveled were speed related. You can help reverse this trend by staying within the speed limit and driving according to the road conditions – as the weather changes, the posted speed limit is not necessarily the safest speed. It doesn’t matter what time you run; the few minutes you might save aren’t worth crashing.
Twenty-nine of those who died were not wearing seat belts. It’s a reminder of what you already know: seat belts save lives. Always wear yours, and when you are the driver, refuse to move the car until each passenger buckles their seat belts.
Thirty-five of the road deaths this summer were alcohol-related. If you are going out and going to drink, plan ahead by designating a sober driver, taking public transport or carpooling, or staying at the party venue. And if you see someone who has been drinking too much, try to get behind the wheel, talk to them, and find a safe ride home for them.
Seven of this summer’s road fatalities are known to be related to distraction. If you are driving, use a hands-free device for your phone or avoid distractions altogether. And if you’re a passenger with a distracted driver, say something. Tell him to hang up and offer to send him this text.
The 167 road fatalities that took place in the 100 busiest days were tragic – and preventable. We need to work together to make Minnesota’s roads safer. Please drive smart and commit to making safe driving choices every season of the year.
If you have any questions regarding laws or traffic issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Hwy. 10 W., Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205. (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or join him at, firstname.lastname@example.org).