Minnesota Traffic Fatalities Increased in 2018

Mar. 28, 2019

A new report from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety suggests more people died in traffic crashes in 2018 than in 2017. According to the report, which is preliminary, 380 people died in accidents involving motor vehicles in 2018, which is up 22 deaths from 2017. Among the leading factors in those crashes were alcohol, speeding, not wearing seat belts, and distracted driving.

Negligent driving is still a huge concern for Minnesota’s motorists, with too many people engaging in risky behaviors behind the wheel. At Patterson Dahlberg, we believe in holding these people accountable for their actions. We fight aggressively to obtain justice for our clients and ensure they receive the maximum compensation they are eligible for.

Minnesota Motor Vehicle Accident Statistics

According to a news release from Minnesota’s Office of Traffic Safety, preliminary statistics suggest that 380 people died in Minnesota motor vehicle crashes in 2018, compared with 358 in 2017. At least 27 deaths have been linked to distractions, up from 25 in 2017, though some crashes are still under investigation. One hundred deaths were related to speed, up from 88 the year before, and 121 were linked to alcohol impairment, compared with 113 in 2017. Ninety of the people who died were not wearing seatbelts and 58 of the fatalities were motorcyclists, the majority of whom were not wearing a helmet when they crashed. Seven of the people who died were bicyclists.

October was the deadliest month for fatalities with 46, followed by September with 42, and July with 40.

Mike Hanson, director of Minnesota’s Office of Traffic Safety, says that 80 percent of traffic fatalities could be prevented if people wore seatbelts, obeyed the speed limit, did not drive impaired, and eliminated distractions. In 2019, law enforcement officials will be focused on those behaviors during different times of the year, including watching for distracted driving in April; seat belt and child restraint use in May, June, and September; speeding in June and July; and driving while impaired in August, November, and December.

According to the Office of Traffic Safety, 70 percent of fatalities in Minnesota motor vehicle crashes were men.

Driving While Impaired Statistics

Although only preliminary figures are out for 2018, officials note that in 2018, 26,853 drivers were arrested for driving while impaired. In 2017, law enforcement officials in Minnesota arrested more than 24,000 drivers for driving while impaired, which was an increase of three percent over 2016 and shows a trend of increasing arrest rates over the past three years.

Also in 2017, 32 percent of people who died in motor vehicle crashes were involved in a crash in which alcohol was a factor with twenty percent of the fatalities linked to drunk driving. An additional 2,389 people were injured in alcohol related crashes and one of every seven Minnesotans who has a driver’s license as at least one DWI.

Pedestrian Death Statistics

Hanson notes that early 2019 has been particularly fatal for pedestrians. In the first few months of the year, 10 pedestrians have died in accidents, compared with 5 such deaths the year before. Many of the accidents are still under investigation, but in 2017, 41 percent of crashes in which a pedestrian died were attributed to the pedestrian’s error, whereas 59 percent were attributed to driver error.

Typically, pedestrian error involves running out into a roadway, while driver error involves failing to yield right of way to the pedestrian. Minnesota typically sees an average of approximately 40 pedestrian fatalities a year, although the number of injuries and overall crashes have increased in recent years.

In 2018, 42 pedestrians died in a motor vehicle accident.

Distracted Driving Statistics

The Office of Traffic Safety reports that distracted driving is a contributing factor in one-fifth of the state’s motor vehicle crashes, resulting in 53 deaths and 216 serious injuries every year.

“The time is now to commit to safe driving habits every time you get behind the wheel,” Hanson said. “No more multitasking, no more getting behind the wheel when you are impaired, no more speeding because you are in a rush, and no more excuses about not buckling up.”

Car Accident Lawyers

Attorneys at Patterson Dahlberg have a proven history of successfully fighting for justice, obtaining hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for their clients. Our lawyers are highly respected and have extensive experience in personal injury claims, successfully fighting against insurance companies, negligent individuals, and large corporations that cause injury to innocent victims.

We have the skills and resources to thoroughly investigate and manage your claim, including interviewing witnesses, obtaining expert testimony and conducting reconstructions where necessary. We put the same energy, dedication, and compassion into every case and we will tirelessly fight for you.

Contact us today for a no-obligation consultation. We work on a contingency basis, so you pay no fees until you receive compensation.