Number of Fatal Minnesota Crashes Lowest in 64 Years

January 7, 2009

Preliminary results show Minnesota in 2008 had the fewest number of traffic deaths in 64 years.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says preliminary results show that 424 people died in crashes involving a vehicle last year, a decline of 16 percent over the 510 people killed in 2007.

Although the final tally for 2008 could go up as more reports of fatal crashes are received, the 424 deaths represent the lowest total since 1944 when 356 people died on state roads.

Safety Commissioner Michael Campion attributes the drop to increased seat belt use, enhanced patrols to combat impaired and aggressive driving, road safety improvement and higher gas prices, which are believed to cause motorists to drive less and at safer speeds.

Official numbers for 2008 will be released in May.

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