Minnesota crash Fact 2012
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has released their Minnesota Motor Vehicle Crash Facts of 2012, and compared to the fatality rate of 1,060 in 1968 (395 in 2012), Minnesota drivers are getting safer. Could it be that we are more conscientious drivers, or perhaps we have safer vehicles? Both are big factors in keeping this number low.
While fatalities are a big concern, car crashes raise another topic of worry. With 69,236 in 2012, crashes saw a 4% decrease over the prior year. Much of that decrease can be attributed to the strengthened safety laws and enhanced enforcement. A lot of these factors are a part of Minnesota’s Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) program — an initiative that addresses traffic issues at a local level.
Among the 69K accidents that occurred in 2012, young males between the ages of 15-24 made up for 24.3% of those that happened. Car crashes are the leading cause of death in young people; in Minnesota, 138 of the 395 deaths were under the age of 30. Seniors over 65 are considered safe drivers, but are more likely to be killed if involved in an accident. Reportedly, senior citizens were involved in only 8.6% of all traffic accidents in 2012, but made up for 21% of traffic deaths.
So where do these deaths and accidents occur? Fatal accidents are inclined to occur on roads in rural areas that allow high speed and don’t have interstate-type safety designs. Injury and property damage are more common in urban areas.
And when do they occur? A fatal crash is more likely to occur the morning and afternoon rush-hour time frames. This has changed significantly since the early ’90s when most fatal crashes occurred between 10:00 pm -2:00 am — all of this due to smarter deployment of law enforcement, increased use of seat-belts, and the awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving.
In comparison to deaths, the number of crashes has held steady over the years for the six hour time period of noon-6:00 pm holding the most crashes.
As a general rule, winter has produced more accidents while the warmer months include more fatalities. Other factors play into deaths more than weather, though. These include speeding, drinking and driving, lack of seat-belt use, and inattention while driving.
So what can we do to prevent/alleviate accidents and crashes in 2013? The Department of Public Safety reminds drivers to buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention, and never drive impaired.