Remarkably, there were no deaths on Minnesota roads on the Fourth of July last year, but the Independence Day holiday is still the deadliest day of the year on state roads, safety officials say.
In the last five years, there have been 19 deaths on July 4, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety.
If you count several additional days that make up the official holiday travel period for the July 4 holiday, the death toll rises to 29 in the last five years – 19 of which were drunk-driving related.
State officials again urge drivers to buckle up, drive at safe speeds, be patient and well-rested and plan for a sober ride.
The state is above last year's pace for road deaths. Midway through the year, there have been 154 traffic deaths, an increase from 145 at this time in 2012, state officials say.
State officials say there will be increased patrols in the 13 counties with the highest tallies for drunken-driving deaths, which includes the Twin Cities metro area, the Star Tribune reports.
Officials said it was difficult to say exactly why last year's July 4th was an anomaly with no road deaths on the holiday.