Make the 100 deadliest days less deadly

June 3, 2019

Heavy traffic on a metro highway

The span of time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is 100 days long – and those 100 days are the deadliest of the year on Minnesota roads. Preliminary numbers show that in 2018 alone, 124 people died in traffic crashes during the 100 deadliest days. They account for 33 percent of all 2018 traffic deaths, even though the span of time is only 27 percent of the year.

So far this year, there have been 115 fatalities on Minnesota roads, compared to 121 at this time last year. How can we keep that trend going through the 100 deadliest days? We all have to do our part.

The Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety is coordinating extra enforcement campaigns during that time. The first, which is extra enforcement for seat belts, ended on June 2. The second is extra speed enforcement, which runs from June 18 through July 21. And the last, which enforces impaired driving, takes place Aug. 16 through Sept. 2.

During those times, law enforcement across Minnesota will put in extra time patrolling the roads to make sure motorists are engaging in safe driving behaviors. Law enforcement from over 300 agencies – deputies, officers and troopers – put in extra shifts to keep Minnesota roads safer.

What can you do to make the 100 deadliest days less deadly? Speak up. If you’re a driver, you can start by refusing to move the car until every passenger buckles their seat belt. Once you’re moving, be sure to obey the speed limit. It doesn’t matter how late you’re running; the few minutes you might save aren’t worth causing a crash.

Going out on the town? Plan ahead by designating a sober driver, taking public transportation or a ride-share, or staying at the location of the party. And if you see someone who has had too much to drink try to get behind the wheel, speak up and find them a safe ride home. Similarly, if you’re a passenger with a driver who is distracted, say something. Tell them to put the phone down, and offer to send that text message for them. With the hands-free law taking effect Aug. 1, now is the time to go hands-free.

Ultimately, you should spend the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day having fun in the warm weather with friends and family – not in the hospital or attending a funeral after a crash. The hope is that if law enforcement and civilians ban together to promote safe driving practices, the 100 deadliest days will eventually not be deadly at all.