Traffic deaths in 2008

Traffic deaths in 2008
Traffic deaths dropped 11 percent on Minnesota's roads in 2008, to 455, the lowest toll on record since 1945. While the state recorded the lowest number of alcohol-related traffic deaths ever (163), alcohol-related crashes still accounted for 36 percent of all fatalities, similar to previous years. Motorcycle crashes resulted in 72 deaths, accounting for 16 percent of all traffic deaths. This was the biggest rider death count since 1985. The decline in deaths among teenagers (16–19) continued, with 31 teen deaths, down from 41 in 2007. The death rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) was less than one person (0.79) — among the lowest in the nation. Minnesota's seat belt use rate reached an all-time high of 90 percent, compared to the national rate of 84 percent. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety noted that unemployment and high gas prices were partial reasons for the low 2008 death count. Gas prices caused motorists to drive at slower, safer speeds, and unemployment rates likely factored in a slight but not significant drop in vehicle miles traveled.

Source: Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Office of Traffic Safety

More information about traffic crashes in Minnesota available from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety at http://www.dps.state.mn.us/ots/crashdata/crash_facts.asp.