More than 200 people have died on Minnesota roads so far this year – an unwelcome figure that's on pace with last year's traffic deaths.
Preliminary numbers from the Office of Traffic Safety shows Minnesota had its 200th traffic death on July 23.
The figure doesn't include a single-vehicle fatal crash that happened in Hubbard County Sunday morning, Scott Wasserman of the Minnesota Department of Safety told BringMeTheNews, noting his office hasn't received the report yet.
An email news release from the Hubbard County Sheriff's Office says the crash involved 19-year-old Avery Mikel of Park Rapids. He was found pinned under an upside-down SUV and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Minnesota hit 100 traffic deaths at the end of April
On pace with last year
The Office of Traffic Safety says fatalities are about on pace with last year's numbers – officials reported 201 road deaths on July 20.
Here's a breakdown of this year's road deaths compared to last year:
- 27 motorcyclists, compared with 37 reported this time last year.
- 26 pedestrians, compared with 16 reported this time last year.
- 4 bicyclists, compared with 4 reported this time last year.
Deaths are preventable
Officials are reminding motorists that most traffic fatalities are preventable, so long as people use safe driving habits like paying attention, always driving sober, driving the speed limit and wearing your seatbelt.
"Each one of us needs to commit to safe driving habits, and we need every community in our state to stand together and say ‘enough is enough’ when it comes to deaths on our roads," Donna Berger, Office of Traffic Safety director, said in a news release.
Despite road deaths reaching this number, the Office of Traffic Safety says there is progress being made thanks to increased enforcement, education and awareness programs.
Last year, there were 411 deaths on state roads – down 17 percent from 10 years ago, the release notes. However, Minnesota road deaths in 2015 were the highest they'd been since 2010.