- Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, known as the 100 most-traveled days on Minnesota roads, again proved to be a tragic time in 2020.
- According to Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (DPS-OTS) preliminary figures, there were 152 deaths this summer.
- That represents 60 percent of all traffic fatalities so far in 2020.
- During the Labor Day weekend, preliminary reports show three people lost their lives on Minnesota roads.
- There were 136 deaths last summer.
- That represented 43 percent of traffic fatalities during the same time period last year.
Recent traffic fatalities
- A 37-year-old motorcyclist negotiating a curve on a ramp from 694 to 252 in Hennepin County ran off the road and struck a tree.
- A pickup truck and SUV collided at a four-way-stop intersection in rural Nobles County. The driver of the pickup allegedly failed to stop. The 22-year-old female SUV driver died.
- A 35-year-old woman driving a pickup truck ran off the road and hit a tree in Olmsted County.
Preliminary data on 152 deaths
- At least eight are known to be distraction-related, compared with 10 in 2019.
- 50 are speed-related, compared with 30 in 2019.
- 40 are alcohol-related, compared with 42 in 2019.
- 36 were not wearing their seat belts, compared with 22 in 2019.
- 36 were motorcyclists, compared with 34 last year. Of the 36 motorcyclists who died, 27 were not wearing a helmet, compared with 23 in 2019.
- 14 were pedestrians, compared with seven in 2019.
- Four were bicyclists, compared with five in 2019.
- 110 were males, while 41 were female, and one was not reported, compared with 92 males and 44 females in 2019.
Fatalities by Age
2020 Traffic Fatalities to Date
- According to preliminary data, DPS-OTS report 255 fatalities on Minnesota roads so far this year. That compares with 246 fatalities this time last year.
- Of the 254 fatalities:
- 28 are pedestrians, compared with 25 in 2019.
- 46 are motorcyclists, compared with 38 in 2019.
- Six are bicyclists, compared with six in 2019.
Extra DWI Enforcement
- To educate drivers on the dangers of drunk driving and planning a safe ride home, a statewide extra enforcement and awareness campaign ran Aug. 14-Sept. 7.
- DPS-OTS coordinates the campaign and distributes the funding provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to agencies from across Minnesota for their participation.
- During Labor Day weekend (6 p.m. Friday-6 a.m. Tuesday), law enforcement made 368 DWI arrests, compared with 451 DWIs in 2019.
- DWIs by summer months in 2020:
- September to date-569
- The 6,812 DWIs this summer compares with 8,491 during the summer of 2019.
Drive Smart and Save Lives
- If you are with a driver who is distracted by their phone, tell them to put the phone down and offer to be their designated texter. Minnesota is a hands-free cell phone state. Learn more about the law at HandsFreeMN.org
- Drive smart by refusing to drive until every passenger is buckled up.
- Drive smart by going the speed limit or driving to the conditions of the road. As the weather starts to change, the posted speed limit is not necessarily the safest speed. Trying to save a few minutes off your drive isn’t worth causing a crash.
- Drive smart by planning ahead before you go out by designating a sober driver, and if you see a person who has had too much to drink, speak up and find them a safe ride home.