An average day in 2015: 1 person dead, 82 people injured in crashes


In 2015, 411 people died on the road in Minnesota, and another 29,981 were injured, according to the 2015 Minnesota Motor Vehicle Crash Facts report.

That's a 13.9 percent increase from 2014, and the most deaths since 2010. In addition, more Minnesotans died in motorcycle accidents last year than since 2008.

In total there were 74,772 accidents reported.

Biggest cause of accidents

It depends on the type of accident.

For single car accidents the biggest contributing factor is illegal or unsafe speeds for drivers ages 15 to 64. Anyone older than that usually gets into trouble because of driver inattention or distraction.

When more than one car is involved, however, the numbers change. No surprise here, distracted driving is the number one contributing factor for the 15- to 64-year-old group. Older drivers are mostly crashing because of failure to yield to the right of way.

Also of note: 137 people died in alcohol-related crashes, compared to 111 in 2014.

How bad is it?

The average day in 2015 saw 205 crashes, resulting in an average of one death and 82 injuries per day in the state.

The estimated economic cost to Minnesota was $285,118,600. That number is based on factors like wage and productivity loss, medical expenses, administrative expenses, vehicle damage and uninsured cost, among others figures.

Where we've improved

The state has come pretty far since we first started counting traffic deaths. In 1970 for example, there were 987 recorded fatalities and more than 99,000 accidents.

Minnesota's fatality rate, what officials call the VMT, is one of the lowest in the nation at 0.7. What that means is that for every 100 million miles that's driven (an accumulation of all cars throughout all of Minnesota), there are 0.7 deaths. Plus a June study reported Minnesotans have a 94 percent seat belt use rate.

You can compare the 2015 report to other yearly reports here.

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