Minnesota Reaches Highest Number of Traffic Deaths Since 2007
According to preliminary data released today by the Department of Public Safety, the state of Minnesota recorded 497 traffic deaths in 2021.
This is the highest number of fatalities since 2007, when there were 510 deaths. Between 2016 and 2020, Minnesota averaged 378 traffic deaths a year.
“I’m saddened knowing how many families lost a loved one in a traffic crash in 2021,” said Mike Hanson, director of the Office of Traffic Safety. “With sadness, there is also anger. Anger that so many motorists are taking the privilege of driving for granted. Some drivers are deliberately exceeding the speed limit, failing to put down the phone, refusing to buckle up and making the poor choice of driving impaired. Until every motorist takes responsibility for their own actions, we’ll continue to see the carnage on our roads.”
In 2021, speed was the largest contributing factor in fatal crashes with 162 deaths, a 33% increase from 2020. Speed was also a factor in 33% of all traffic deaths in 2021, compared to 26% over 2016 to 2020.
There were 124 alcohol-related deaths last year compared to 135 in 2020, and there were 109 unbelted motorist deaths in 2021, compared to 105 in 2020.
Already, Minnesota has reported the first traffic death of 2022, when a 51-year-old male driver not wearing a seat belt was killed in Goodhue County. Alcohol and driving too fast for road conditions are thought to have contributed to the crash.
Motorists are advised to buckle up, pay attention, watch their speed, drive sober, and drive smart to help prevent tragedy on the roads.
Lakeland News is member supported content. Please consider supporting Lakeland News today.