Minnesotans Are Driving Like Crazy and It’s Killing People
That was the headline in the Tuesday, September 6 issue of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The article went on to point out that speed related traffic deaths last year (2021) surged 45% pushing overall traffic deaths to a level not seen in the state since 2007. A local driving school instructor, Pete Hosmer was quoted as saying that he has seen far more impatient, aggressive and dangerous driving such as tailgating, drivers blowing through red lights, etc., in the last couple of years than at any time in his 17 years as a driving instructor. This phenomenon is not just located in Minnesota. States across the country are experiencing a massive rise in traffic fatalities despite better seatbelt usage and cars brimming with new safety technology. “Motorist surveyed say they are speeding more than ever, at the same time many law-enforcement agencies are scaling back or even eliminating speed enforcement as they shift diminished staffs to more pressing law enforcement work.“
The surge in traffic deaths was surprising to the Minnesota state patrol which had initially expected lower traffic fatalities due to the fact of the COVID-19 lockdowns and fewer people driving.
The good news is that so far in 2022 it appears that this trend has reversed. Minnesota documented 68 speeding related deaths between January 2022 and July 31, which is lower than the 99 deaths at the same point in 2021. It is, however, still higher than pre-pandemic years.
While this increase in crashes means more work for personal injury lawyers, it is not something we want to see. We are one of the few groups out there who are actively trying to put ourselves out of business by discouraging unsafe conduct utilizing the law to force wrongdoers to fairly compensate those that they have wrongfully injured. Deterrence is one of the primary purposes of civil lawsuits.