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An Unexpectedly Dangerous Time of Year for Minnesota Drivers


August 2016

Many Minnesotans believe that most deadly traffic accidents happen during the winter. After all, ice and snow make roads far more slippery than rain. People often react with surprise when they learn that more fatalities occur in the late spring and summer.

The Numbers

The most dangerous part of the year extends from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Warm weather encourages Minnesotans to take longer trips and fewer safety precautions. In a typical year, almost 130 drivers and passengers die during this 100-day period. In fact, fatalities increased last year; summer car accidents killed 137 people.

State government data reveals that driving-related deaths went up nearly 14 percent in 2015. A total of 74,772 crashes took 411 lives and injured almost 30,000 Minnesotans. Eighty-three people suffered bodily harm in an average day.

Major Causes

Alcoholic beverages contributed to 95 fatal accidents and over 2,200 injuries during 2015. Ninety-one people weren't wearing safety belts when they passed away, and excessive speed triggered 78 fatalities. Distractions played a role in 74 deadly crashes. Distracted driving represents the fastest-growing cause of serious traffic accidents.

Prevention

We can all do our part to make Minnesota's roads safer during the summer and throughout each year. Remember to perform routine vehicle maintenance, keep windows clean and avoid using cellphones when you drive. Always insist that all passengers wear seat belts.

After drinking at a bar, find an alternate way to travel home. Consider walking, calling a taxi service or using mass transit. Protect intoxicated friends by urging them not to drive. To learn more, visit the Minnesota Department of Public Safety's website at dps.mn.gov. It offers helpful tips for drivers as well as motorcyclists.

Compensation

No one can prevent every collision, but some crashes occur due to careless behavior or vehicle defects. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a serious accident, an experienced attorney may help your family gain fair compensation.

The personal injury attorneys at Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben serve clients throughout Upper Midwest, including Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota. Our dedicated legal experts can visit accident victims' homes and medical facilities throughout the week. Please call (612) 377-7777 or 1-800-752-4265 (toll-free) for a free consultation.