2018 Deadly Year On State Roads

2018 Deadly Year On State Roads Click to Enlarge Photo: KNSI News

(KNSI) - More people died on Minnesota roads in 2018 compared to the year before.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety says 381 people were killed on the state’s roads last year. A six percent increase from 2017 when 358 people were killed.

The number one contributing factor was speed, which killed 113 motorists in 2018. Next was 96 because they failed to use a seatbelt, 84 died from impaired driving and 29 from distracted driving.

Some of the lives lost included a young, pregnant wife and mother who suffered her life when a distracted truck driver rear-ended her vehicle. A wife lost her husband after he was killed by a driver charged with streaming videos on his phone. A 21-year-old man riding in a horse and buggy lost his life after being struck by a drunk, hit-and-run driver.

Officials say 2019 isn’t shaping up to be any better.

Over the last eight months, 223 people have lost their lives in traffic crashes, compared with 218 reported this time last year.

Despite an increase in fatal accidents last year, Minnesota continues to see a downward trend in traffic fatalities over five-year periods.

From 2009-2013, Minnesota saw an average of 396 deaths per year.

In the last five years, there has been an average of 381 deaths, a four percent decrease.

During this year’s legislative session, lawmakers passed a hands-free driving bill to cut down on distracted driving.

Here is a snapshot of crashes in Minnesota in 2018:

79,215 traffic crashes, involving 146,107 motor vehicles

172,908 people were involved in accidents

381 people died, and 27,877 people were injured.

Drunk driving continues to be a significant issue on Minnesota roads with 26,414 DWI in 2018.

On an average day in 2018, there were 217 crashes, one death, and 76 injuries.