Minnesota roads are becoming far more dangerous places, according to fatal crash statistics recently released for 2021. The number of people losing their lives in traffic crashes has risen rapidly in recent years, causing safety advocates and transportation officials to consider what they might do to get these numbers moving in the right direction.
According to KTSP, in 2021, Minnesota saw its highest number of road deaths in any year since 2007.
Minnesota traffic death statistics
In 2021, a total of 497 people lost their lives on Minnesota roadways. Yet, between 2016 and 2020, there were an average of 378 traffic deaths each year in the state. The majority of those road deaths involved individuals who were driving or riding in cars. However, there were also 67 motorcyclist deaths and 58 pedestrian deaths, marking increases among both of these demographics. In 2020, there were 45 pedestrian deaths that occurred within state lines.
Minnesota traffic death contributing factors
Many fatal car crashes in Minnesota share similar factors in common. Speed was the most notable factor contributing to road fatalities in 2021, with speed having a hand in 162 of the 497 road deaths that occurred in the state. Alcohol abuse and driver distraction are also common contributors, playing a role in 124 and 32 fatal crashes, respectively. Road deaths involving individuals not wearing seat belts also increased last year.
While the rising number of road deaths in Minnesota is cause for concern, the number does not take into account the many residents and visitors who suffer serious injuries in car wrecks but do not ultimately succumb to them.