TRAFFIC FATALITIES JUMP
Dec. 2, 2021
On October 19, 2021 the Minneapolis Star Tribune published an article in the business section concerning increasing traffic fatalities in Minnesota. Minnesota is closing in on 400 traffic deaths for 2021 and will most likely set the record for most traffic fatalities since 2007. You would think that given fewer people on the roads due to the pandemic, there would be naturally fewer crashes and fewer deaths. Not so. "Roads have changed in a tragic and horrific way", said Michael Hansen, director of the Office of Traffic Safety. One of the ways to deal with this epidemic is going to be reaching out to employers in the hopes that they can educate their employees.
One of Minnesota's largest employers, Cargill, has already been preaching safe driving to employees. The company enacted a no-cell phone-use policy while driving in 2017.
The article goes on to point out the traffic deaths are up 23% through October 19 compared with the same date last year which would put Minnesota on target for about 475 traffic deaths in 2021. Speeding is the leading factor, followed by impaired driving (95 deaths), lack of seatbelts (80 deaths) and distraction (18 deaths). Deaths include 61 motorcyclists, 44 pedestrians and 7 bicyclists. The remainder of course were occupying motor vehicles.
This is not just a Minnesota problem. The article points out that the increase in fatalities is a nationwide issue.