Minnesota Crash Facts 2013

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Minnesota Crash Facts 2013

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has released their Minnesota Motor Vehicle Crash Facts of 2013, and the number of fatalities has decreased from 397 in 2012 to 387 in 2013. In relation to 1968 where the fatality rate was 1060, Minnesota drivers are consistently getting safer. Safer vehicles and drivers being more conscientious have both contributed to less deaths on the road.

There were 77,707 traffic crashes reported 2013, an increase of 10.9% from 2012. However, there were 387 deaths on Minnesota roads, a 2.0% decrease from the previous year.

Among the 70K accidents that occurred in 2013, young males between the ages of 15- 24 make up 14.4% of those that happened. Car crashes are the leading cause of death in young people; in Minnesota, the highest percentage of fatal crashes was among the 20-29 age group. According to Crash Facts:

“The age structure of the population has a strong effect on crash incidence, although it is not generally thought about since demographic changes are so gradual. In Minnesota, about one in 18 teenage drivers are involved in crashes each year. The involvement rate drops off for successive age groups. For example, it is about 1 in 36 for drivers in their 40s. The aging of the “baby boom” has reduced crash incidence, however, their children who are now driving may cause an increase.”

Although the numbers seem high, in reality, traffic deaths in Minnesota have decreased dramatically in the past decade. There are many factors for the continued improvement in traffic safety, but much can be credited to strengthened traffic safety laws, enhanced enforcement, education and outreach, engineering and emergency trauma care. These elements are all part of the state’s Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) initiative — a multidisciplinary program addressing traffic issues at the local level.

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. However, injury and property damage-causing crashes 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 time frame for crashes overall 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.

Some tips to prevent/alleviate accidents and crashes in 2014: the Department of Public Safety reminds drivers to buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention, and never drive impaired.

See more at https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ots/reports-statistics/Documents/2013-crash-facts.pdf

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