Nearly 60 people die on Minnesota roads every year as a result of texting while driving, according to data released by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety on Friday.
The data shows an alarming increase in the number of tickets issued to drivers who are distracted by their cell phones, with the number climbing a robust 331 percent since 2012.
Texting citations in the last six years:
- 2012: 1,707
- 2013: 2,177
- 2014: 3,498
- 2015: 4,115
- 2016: 5,988
- 2017: 7,357
The data also shows that distracted driving is to blame in one of every four crashes in Minnesota.
One of the latest happened last week, when a semi-truck driver slammed into the back of a smaller car at a stoplight, killing the driver in the eastern Twin Cities suburbs.
Meanwhile, speeding tickets have dropped over the last five years and seatbelt citations have dropped more than 50 percent, from more than 68,000 in 2012 to just 32,000 last year.