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Minnesota Traffic Deaths Decrease in 2013 Along with Vehicle Miles Traveled Rates


January 2014

Preliminary reports indicate that the number of Minnesota traffic deaths has decreased in 2013. There is also evidence that the vehicle miles traveled (VMT) fatality rate has decreased. Law enforcement officials are enthusiastic about the decreasing number of traffic deaths over the past decade.

According to preliminary numbers, 375 traffic fatalities occurred in 2013, but that number could increase to 385. Either figure would be an improvement over the 395 traffic deaths that occurred in 2012. Deaths involving pedestrians, bicyclists and general motorists decreased in 2013. However, the number of deaths involving a motorcyclist experienced a slight increase. Many of the deaths are attributed to drunk driving, a lack of seat belt use, distracted driving, and speeding. July, September and November were the deadliest months. January, March and December had the fewest reported fatalities.

Over the past decade, the numbers of traffic fatalities has decreased drastically. In 2004, there were 567 reported deaths. The number of fatalities has decreased every year, with the exception of 2007 and 2012.

One way to examine traffic deaths involves comparing the number of fatalities for every 100 million vehicle miles traveled. The fatality rate for VMT is managed by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, but rates have not been released for 2013. In 2012, the rate was 0.69, which is one of the lowest rates in the United States. The rate for 2013 is expected to remain low.

Preliminary records indicate that the number of individuals arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) decreased in 2013. A total of 28,418 drivers were arrested for DWI in 2012, but that number dropped to 23,800 in 2013.

Law enforcement agencies are working together to try to lower the number of Minnesota traffic fatalities. Officials urge drivers to maintain safe speeds, buckle up, drive sober and be attentive.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a serious automotive accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben. Call (612) 377-7777 or toll-free at 1-800-752-4265 for a free consultation.

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