Through July 9 this year traffic fatality numbers in Minnesota are down slightly from a year ago at this time.  That according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.  Through July 9 Minnesota has had 175 traffic related deaths which is 9% lower than 2022 where we had 192 at that time. This year's numbers are 21% lower than 2021 which had 221 traffic related deaths through July 9 of that year.

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MN-Dot is also reporting the following:

  • Alcohol-related deaths are 38 percent lower than at this time last year, and at least 24 percent less than any of the previous five years.
  • Speed-related deaths are 14 percent less than last year and 40 percent less than in 2021, but the same as in 2020 and 74 percent more than in 2019.
  • Unbelted deaths are 14 percent lower than last year, 20 percent less than in 2021, and the lowest since 2019.
  • Motorcycle deaths (29) are 12 percent less than last year (33) and 24 percent less than in 2021 (38), but 38 percent higher than in 2020 (21) and 61 percent higher than in 2019 (18).

MN-Dot is reminding parents to be mindful of the safety of kids in vehicles this summer.  Suggestions from William Van Koevering from MN-Dot.

•             Don’t forget about them. Life gets busy but don’t forget passengers in the backseat. When the temperature hits 72 degrees outside, a vehicle can reach 117 degrees in just 60 minutes, resulting in heat exhaustion and death in some cases. More than half of vehicular heatstroke deaths nationwide occur when a child is forgotten while in a rear-facing car seat or sleeping in the backseat.  Kids and Car Safety is urging drivers to Look Before You Lock during these hot summer days. You can also learn more about vehicular heatstroke and prevention with these National Heatstroke Prevention Day resources.

•             Teach them to be good passengers. Children can be distracting because they can get restless and start acting up. Model good behavior for them, provide mess-free activities to keep them quiet and teach them how to be respectful passengers.

•             Buckle up, Buttercup! Make a habit of checking your passengers’ seat belts before you set out for the road.  Even if your passengers are close friends, their life is at risk and could cost you a hefty ticket.

•             Use a proper car seat. Whether for pets or for children, using a proper car seat for their age, height and weight secures your passenger and maximizes safety. Plus, keeping animals restrained decreases distraction—and hair—in your vehicle!

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