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Traffic Deaths Down in 2013

Created: 01/16/2014 3:38 PM KAALtv.com

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- The number of people killed on Minnesota roads dropped in 2013, according to new numbers from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

In 2013, there were 375 traffic fatalities. That's down from 395 in 2012.

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

“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, bucking up, slowing down and eliminating distractions.”

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.

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).

According to preliminary reports, 23,800 motorists were arrested for DWI in 2013. DPS says 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.