Wisconsin’s Traffic Deaths Fewest Since 1946

August 8, 2008

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation recently released a statement saying that traffic deaths were down last month, making the month of July in Wisconsin the lowest in fatalities since World War II.

Sixty-three people died in 59 traffic crashes in July, according to preliminary statistics from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. The safest month of July occurred in 1946 with 49 traffic deaths, and the deadliest months of July were in 1987 and 1979 with 114 fatalities.

Traffic fatalities in July were 21 fewer than in July 2007 when 84 people died in 75 crashes and 20 fewer than the five-year average of 83 deaths in 75 crashes during the month of July.

Fifteen traffic fatalities occurred during this year’s Fourth of July holiday period from Thursday night, July 3, through Sunday, July 6.

As of July 31, a total of 315 people have died in Wisconsin traffic crashes during 2008, including 41 motorcycle drivers, four motorcycle passengers, 24 pedestrians and three bicyclists. Traffic deaths through July were 107 fewer than during the same period in 2007 and 121 fewer than the five-year average.

“Each month since October 2007, we’ve had lower fatality totals compared with the same month in the previous year. Overall in 2008, traffic deaths are down about 25 percent compared with the same period in 2007,” says Dennis Hughes, chief of safety programs for the Wisconsin State Patrol Bureau of Transportation Safety. “Although high fuel prices, which tend to reduce traffic speeds and volumes, have been a factor in reducing fatalities, improved driver behavior is also playing a big part. Because crashes are caused primarily by driver behavior, lives are saved when motorists make responsible decisions behind the wheel.”

Source: Wisconsin Department of Transportation

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