Skip to main content

Traffic deaths up slightly in 2012

  • Author:
  • Updated:

For the first time in five years, the number of traffic fatalities in Minnesota increased from the previous year – 378 people were killed in 2012, up 10 from the 2011 total, according to preliminary reports from the Department of Public Safety.

Department officials in a press release said that they were forecasting that the official final total – available this summer after additional crash reports are submitted – will be about 390. That would be a 6 percent jump above the 2011 figure.

But there's good news in the broader picture: Fatalities have dropped dramatically from a decade ago. In fact, 2012 would be the second safest year – after 2011 – since 1944 (356 deaths). Since 2002 (657 deaths), the total traffic fatalities number has decreased nearly every year in Minnesota (except when the number increased in 2007).

The state has one of the lowest rates of death per miles traveled in the nation, state safety officials say.

Officials say these common traffic safety issues likely again will be the top contributing factors to the 2012 fatalities: drunk driving, drivers not using seat belts, speeding and distracted driving. Officials say that traditionally, drunk driving-related crashes account for more than one-third of the state’s total traffic fatalities.

The deadliest months on Minnesota roads in 2012 were September (48), August (42) and October (38), the department says. The safest were April (19), January (20) and March (23).

Click here for county-by-county traffic death totals for 2012 and 2011.

Traffic deaths in Anoka County more than doubled from 11 to 25 in 2012, state officials say. In Ramsey County, the number increased from 14 to 20; the number dropped in Hennepin County from 45 to 32. Hennepin still had the highest total of any county.

Next Up

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Man says he was pistol-whipped, robbed at gunpoint by trio

The incident allegedly happened in Brooklyn Park early Friday morning.

Melissa Turtinen - MN State Fair 2021

Is the State Fair heatwave real, or an urban legend?

Sven Sundgaard checks the data behind the notion that the State Fair is Minnesota's 'last summer hurrah.'

Stillwater Prison

Investigation after inmate found dead in cell at Stillwater prison

Drug paraphernalia was found by officers inside the cell.

2 (3)

Focus is on family fitness at this year’s Twin Cities Marathon

Don’t miss out on the running, racing and all the fun things to do for the whole family

Screen Shot 2022-08-18 at 2.29.47 PM

Family's tributes to mother killed by partner in St. Paul murder-suicide

The 30-year-old was killed by her partner, who then killed himself.


Eagan man killed after crashing into traffic signal

The 30-year-old crashed into a traffic light early Wednesday morning.

Melvin Carter

What's in Mayor Melvin Carter's budget proposal?

Here's what the St. Paul mayor is putting his focus on for the upcoming year.

WCCO building

Digital, streaming employees at WCCO-TV vote to unionize

The 15 employees will join on-air talent and producers as members of the SAG-AFTRA union.


Police arrest man suspected of sexual assault, weapons threat in Eagan

The investigation prompted a SWAT response in an Eagan neighborhood on Tuesday.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for the week ending Tuesday, August 16

The latest reporting period averaged just under 1,300 new cases per day.


Minnesota traffic deaths continue to drop

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says the 368 traffic deaths on Minnesota roads in 2011 represents a fourth consecutive annual drop in road fatalities and the lowest death count on record since 1944 when 356 were killed. The 368 deaths mark a 44 percent decrease from 10 years ago.