As the summer of 2020 ends, law enforcement departments around the country assess the number of seasonal traffic fatalities. Most departments look closely at the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day, colloquially known as the “100 Deadliest Days.” These 100 days include the busiest, and most lethal, driving days of the year.
A recent press release from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety announced the 2020 traffic fatality numbers. Unfortunately for Minnesotans, deaths are up from 2019.
The dangerous roads of 2020 America
Americans face many challenges in 2020. The statewide lockdowns and new social mandates test every citizen’s patience and willpower. For the nation’s motorists, these tests extend to their love of automobiles. Since March, police around the country report issuing fewer traffic tickets, but recording more severe violations. Minnesota police reported in April 2020 that although traffic was down 50%, fatalities were up 50%. The open roadways proved too tempting for many reckless drivers.
This trend has unfortunately continued to the summer. The press release from the Office of Traffic Safety listed 152 deaths on Minnesota roads during the 100 Deadliest Days of 2020. These numbers increased by 11% over the 136 deaths during the same period in 2019. Since the beginning of 2020, Minnesota roadways have seen 255 deaths, up over the 246 at this time last year.
Neighboring states paint a fuller picture of where Minnesota stands. Wisconsin reports a 5% increase at 412 traffic fatalities in 2020, Illinois matches their 2019 numbers with 736 fatalities, and both Iowa and North Dakota report lower traffic fatalities than 2019. Public officials hope the winter weather brings a reduction in traffic fatalities to close out the year.
Take extra care when driving
Though the roads may seem more open, reckless driving and speeding are still illegal in Minnesota. If a reckless driver injured you or a loved one in an accident, legal recourse might be available. Many people have more success securing damages by working with a local attorney familiar with Minnesota motor vehicle law.