It's an unfortunate truth that even the best drivers can be involved in car accidents. Reckless drivers, extreme weather conditions and unforeseen events can affect anyone. Since 2002, however, Minnesota has been able to report a steadily decreasing number of traffic deaths; 2007 was an exception, but the decline continued otherwise through 2011. In that year, Minnesota had one of the lowest fatality records in the country with 0.65 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. Regrettably, the downward trend ended in 2012.
In 2011, there were 368 traffic deaths. Preliminary reports for 2012 show 378 deaths, and that number is expected to reach roughly 390 when all crash reports for the year have been submitted. The growth over 2011 may not seem significant, but out of that total, some of the individual numbers are a bit alarming.
In 2011, 42 motorcyclists lost their lives. In the 2012 reports thus far, that number is up to 53, which is an increase of 26 percent. While overall motorist deaths are slightly down in the early report, some counties have already seen significant escalations. Anoka County had 11 driving deaths in 2011. In 2012, that number more than doubled to 25. Ramsey County saw an increase of 30 percent with 20 traffic deaths, up from 14 in 2011.
Traffic officials note the warmer winter conditions at the beginning of year as a possible cause of these higher numbers. Drivers may have been less cautious and driven faster, resulting in the additional fatalities. The usual suspects likely accounted for other traffic deaths, including drunk or distracted driving, speeding and failure to wear seat belts.
While 2012 will still earn second place behind 2011 as the safest driving year since 1944, the reversal of the downward trend is troubling. Drivers are encouraged to follow traffic and safety laws at all times, and driving cautiously is still the best option. Even one extra death is devastating to loved ones who are left behind. Anyone interested in more information on the report can visit the Minnesota Department of Public Safety website.
If you should find yourself the victim of a car accident, a qualified attorney can help protect your rights and obtain compensation for your losses. At Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben, we have over 40 years of experience in handling car accident cases. Our firm puts the most capable personal injury lawyers Minnesota has to offer on your side, handling every possible detail and working diligently on your behalf to make sure you receive all that you deserve.
Whether you need assistance with medical care, insurance companies' requirements, representation in court or simply communicating with other involved parties, we can help. We'll keep you up to date as your case progresses, and we're always available to answer your questions. Let us handle the work while you focus on your recovery. If you or your loved ones have been injured in a car accident call Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben today at 612-377-7777 or toll-free at 1-800-752-4265.