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Deaths on Minnesota roads in 2021 at highest level in more than a decade

There have been a total of eight motorcyclist fatalities on Minnesota roads this year.

Five motorcyclists were killed on Minnesota roads this week in what has proven to be a deadly year so far.

Of the motorcyclists who died this week, three were not wearing helmets, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

According to a DPS release issued Friday, 12 people were killed in vehicle crashes in Minnesota since May 1. Of the fatalities this week, four were speed related, three involved alcohol and two involved unbelted drivers. It's unclear if the DPS report includes two traffic fatalities that happened Friday. 

Data from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office shows that 122 people have died on Minnesota roads since the start of the year. That number was 93 at this time last year.

In fact, the last time the number of fatalities reached 122 by this time was in 2008.

There have been a total of eight motorcyclist fatalities so far this year, compared to six at this time last year.

The number of bicyclist fatalities has stayed flat at two, while the number of pedestrian fatalities decreased from 15 last year at this time to 13 this year.

This year has also seen 35 fatalities that involved unbelted drivers and 28 that involved alcohol.

“One bad choice on the road can lead to a lifetime of regret,” said Mike Hanson, Minnesota DPS Office of Traffic Safety director, in a statement.

“By driving smart, we can help our friends, neighbors and loved ones get home safely. To help reduce... the significant increase in traffic fatalities on our road, we ask everyone to drive smart by slowing down, paying attention, planning a sober ride and buckling up.”

DPS also noted that a majority of crashes reported so far this year involved curves. The department recommends taking curves slowly and looking through curves to prevent crashes. 

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