Deadly crashes rising in Minnesota

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(ABC 6 News) – A new report shows that traffic deaths are rising in Minnesota despite road travel dropping over the last 4 years.

According to TRIP, a national transportation research nonprofit, Minnesota traffic fatalities are up 26% from 2019 to 2022.

According to the report, the increase in deadly crashes is likely related to increased risks being taken by drivers.

A study done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that after the public health emergency was declared in 2020, drivers started engaging in more risky behavior.

That includes speeding, not wearing their seatbelts, and driving under the influence.

In response, the NHTSA released a “safety strategy” to serve as a roadmap, which in part calls on drivers to reduce their own risks.

“Everybody has a role, not just MNDOT in its design and maintenance of the highways and bridges but as driver themselves they can do their part,” MNDOT Director of Communications Mike Dougherty said.

All types of fatal crashes are rising including bicycle and pedestrian crashes, motorcycle crashes, and work zone incidents.

The report also calculated the economic cost of deadly crashes.

According to TRIP, serious deadly crashes cost the state around $5.5 billion for things like medical care, court costs, and property damage.