Each state has its own character when it comes to driving cars on its roads, and Minnesota is no exception. Some states take care of their roads better and feature more robust safety precautions that benefit drivers.

Other states may not have the money or the political will to better driving conditions. What do current statistics reveal about Minnesota?

Fewer traffic fatalities

A graph on the Minnesota DOT website shows that traffic deaths in the state are on a downward trend. In the years between 2000 and 2005, traffic deaths in the state hovered around 600 a year, with a high of 657 in 2002. Between 2005 and 2015 traffic deaths fell to an average of near 400 a year. The past five years saw even lower numbers, with a low of 358 in 2017. The latest data for 2020, shows 97 traffic deaths as of May 18th, which extrapolates out to 300 deaths for the year. Minnesota has a program called Towards Zero Deaths which has set a goal of 300 or fewer deaths for 2020.

Better education for drivers

The Minnesota Towards Zero Deaths website has identified several areas to improve driver safety. These include better education, efficient medical and trauma services, enforcement of traffic laws and better engineering. The program also looks to the courts and legislation to strengthen safety features of the state. One program focuses on DWI issues, with an emphasis on changing the behavior of those who get behind the wheel of a vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol. The goal in this area is to improve public safety by addressing some of the root reasons that result in repeat offenders.