At least 12 people were killed on Minnesota roads since Feb. 28, according to preliminary reports from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS).
Since Jan.1, 51 people have died on Minnesota roads, two more than this time last year, but nine fewer (60) than 2012.
The recent fatalities include three Carlton College students who died in a crash on Hwy. 3 near Northfield on Feb. 28 and four young men whose car lost control on Hwy. 14 just west of Sleepy Eye on March 7. All seven were under 21 years of age.
“Our roads can turn deadly in good weather and bad,” said Donna Berger, DPS Office of Public Safety (OTS) director. “The people who lost their lives in these crashes are the reasons we all need to take driving seriously and always make safe decisions about buckling up, driving at safe speeds, paying attention and never driving impaired.
Berger also points out that drivers aren’t the only victims in many crashes. In addition to the Sleepy Eye crash, an early morning Jan. 5 Winona crash into the Mississippi River killed four people. Passengers need to make smart choices regarding their own safety by always buckling up (even in the back seat), never getting in the car with an impaired driver and speaking up if the driver is engaging in risky behavior.
In 2012, young males age 15-34 were involved in 29,186 of 54,050 crashes (54 percent) and 143 of 201 fatal crashes (71 percent). The most cited factors in these crashes were driver inattention/distraction, failure to yield right of way and illegal/unsafe speed.
In 2012, 66 percent of all fatal crashes occurred in rural areas (population of less than 5,000). In addition, 37 percent of all fatal crashes occurred on county state aid highways, and 89 of those were in rural areas.