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NEWS RELEASE

Bruce Gordon, Director of Communications
CONTACT:
Dawn Duffy  (651) 201-7571
dawn.duffy@state.mn.us
 
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 16, 2014
Minnesota Traffic Deaths Decrease in 2013
Preliminary Data Shows Return to Downward Trend in Road Fatalities
​ST. PAUL – The number of deaths on Minnesota roads decreased in 2013 and, since 2004, traffic fatalities are down 34 percent. According to preliminary reports from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety, there were 375 traffic fatalities in 2013, down from 395 in 2012.
 
In the past decade, Minnesota traffic fatalities have decreased sharply, from 567 in 2004 to 375 last year.
 
DPS projects 2013’s final total – available in early summer as additional crash reports are submitted – to be approximately 385. Officials expect four common traffic safety issues will again be the primary contributing factors for the 2013 deaths – drunk driving, seat belt non-use, speeding and distracted driving.
 

“Despite last year’s dip in traffic fatalities, these numbers still reflect far too many victims who have lost their lives on our roads,” said Donna Berger, DPS Office of Traffic Safety director. “We continue to encourage all drivers to make good decisions about driving sober, buckling up, slowing down and eliminating distractions.”
 
2013 Preliminary Death Count Results
The preliminary traffic death count includes:

  • 31 pedestrians – down from 40 in 2012
  • Six bicyclists – down from seven in 2012
  • 60 motorcyclists – up from 55 in 2012
  • 278 motorists – down from 293 in 2012
The deadliest months in 2013 were July (52), September (50) and November (38). The months with the fewest fatalities were January (16), March (22) and December (22).
 
Preliminary DWI Results
According to preliminary reports, 23,800 motorists were arrested for DWI in 2013. This count will grow as alcohol-concentration and crash data are finalized for 2013 drunk driving deaths that will be reported later this year. In 2012, there were 28,418 impaired driving incidents and 131 drunk driving-related deaths.
 
Additional Data
Month and county-specific 2013 preliminary traffic deaths for pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles and motorists are available here.
 
About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.
 
About the Office of Traffic Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) designs, implements and coordinates federally funded traffic safety enforcement and education programs to improve driver behaviors and reduce the deaths and serious injuries that occur on Minnesota roads. OTS also administers state funds for the motorcycle safety program and for the child seats for needy families program.
 
OTS is an anchoring partner of the state’s Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) traffic safety initiative. A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes — education, enforcement, engineering and emergency trauma response.
 
Office of Traffic Safety Highlights
  • Roads in Minnesota’s 25 counties with the highest combined totals of drunk driving traffic deaths and alcohol-related serious injuries will be a primary focus for increased DWI enforcement through September 2014.
  • In a continuing effort to advance traffic safety in Minnesota, DPS awarded new federal grants totaling more than $8.5 million for regional partners to support overtime traffic safety enforcement and educational efforts through September 2014.
  • OTS projects around 395 traffic deaths for 2013 – approximately the same number of traffic deaths that occurred in 2012.
  • OTS news archive.
  • OTS PSA archive.
  • Media are encouraged to localize traffic safety news by referencing county-specific crash facts.
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445 Minnesota Street, Suite 100 | Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101-5155 | dps.mn.gov