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Reports and Statistics

The Importance of Crash Data

Compiling  accurate crash data is critical to OTS. Analyzing crash data allows officials and law enforcement to better address traffic safety issues — by understanding why and where crashes are occurring, and who is being impacted.

OTS produces documents concerning Minnesota's motor vehicle crashes. In addition, OTS houses the state's Fatality Analysis Reporting System analyst. Two major publications produced by OTS are Minnesota Motor Vehicle Crash Facts and the Minnesota Impaired Driving Facts


What's New

395 Killed on Minnesota Roads in 2012, Up 7% from 2011

A mild winter, a slight increase in miles traveled  and a spike in motorcyclist deaths are a few of the reasons Minnesota had its first increase in traffic deaths since 2007. The 395 traffic deaths in 2012 is a 7 percent increase from 2011 (368), yet represents a 40 percent decrease in deaths from a decade ago.

The crash data include 116 unbelted motorists, 104 drunk driving crash victims, 55 motorcyclists and 40 pedestrians. View the 2012 Minnesota Motor Vehicle Crash Facts report for more crash data and find county-specific crash facts for 2012 and for the last five years.

Read the news release and accompanying infographic.


Minnesota Motor Vehicle Crash Facts 2012 Highlights: 

  • The state’s 2012 fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled is less than one person, 0.69 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. The U.S. fatality rate is 1.09.  In 2011, (most recent national data), Minnesota was second behind Massachusetts for the lowest fatality rate in the U.S. Officials say despite the increase in deaths in 2012, the fatality rate will remain among the lowest in the nation once 2012 national data is complete.
  • The most common factors in 2012 all crashes are in order of frequency: driver inattention/distraction; failure to yield right-of-way, and illegal or unsafe speed. 

  • 395 fatalities involve motorists (276); motorcyclists (55); pedestrians (40); bicyclists (7); ATV riders (9); farm equipment occupants (2); commercial bus riders (2); snowmobile riders (1) and three unknown vehicle types. 

  • 29,314 injuries, of which 1,268 were severe and life-altering.  

  • 286 deaths (72 percent) occurred in the 80 counties of greater Minnesota, while 109 deaths (28 percent) occurred in the Twin Cities’ seven-county metro area.  

Take an online survey to help OTS improve Crash Facts.

2012 Impaired Driving Facts Report: 104 Killed in Drunk Driving Crashes

Last year 104 people were killed in Minnesota crashes involving a drunk driver, representing 100 fewer drunk driving deaths from a decade ago. Still, drunk driving crashes account for nearly one-third of the state's total traffic deaths annually. The drunk driving problem is underscored in that 28,418 Minnesotans were arrested for DWI in 2012. Last year, males accounted for 73 percent of the arrests and 42 percent of the offenders were people ages 20–29. The OTS annual report, Minnesota Motor Vehicle Impaired Driving Facts 2012 is now available.


Key Findings in the 2012 report: 

  • 395 people died in traffic crashes in Minnesota and 104 (26 percent) were in crashes involving drunk drivers.
  • 2,644 people suffered injuries in alcohol-related crashes.
  • 28,418 motorists were arrested for DWIs (an average of 78 DWIs per day).
  • 11,474 (40 percent) of these violators had at least one prior DWI.
  • 1,783 (6 percent) of the DWIs were issued to drivers less than 21 years of age.
  • 76 percent of motorists arrested for DWI resulted in a criminal conviction for driving while impaired; this percentage will increase as outstanding cases are settled in courts.
  • One out of every seven licensed drivers in Minnesota has at least one DWI.


2012 Traffic Safety Behaviors Survey

Results from the 2012 random telephone survey of Minnesotans attitudes, opinions and behaviors on traffic safety issues, plus findings on traffic safety messaging and message sources are available and summarized


2012 Observational Survey of Seat Belt Use 

Read the final report of the 2012 Observational Survey of Seat Belt Use by vehicle type, age group and more. Included in the survey report are results on cell phone use while driving and motorcycle helmet use.