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Minnesota traffic fatalities down slightly in 2013

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The number of people killed on Minnesota roads and highways has decreased again since 2013. Since 2004, traffic fatalities are down by around 34 percent.

According to the preliminary report from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety's Office of Traffic Safety, there were 375 traffic fatalities in 2013, down from 395 in 2012.

The agency says it projects the final total to be around 385, as additional crash reports are submitted.

The numbers still are higher than they were in 2011 when 368 people were killed on Minnesota roadways.

Donna Berger, DPS Office of Traffic Safety director said in a statement, "Despite last year's dip in traffic fatalities, these numbers still reflect far too many victims who have lost their lives on our roads. We continue to encourage all drivers to make good decisions about driving sober, buckling up, slowing down and eliminating distractions."

Officials expect those four common traffic safety issues will again be the primary contributing factors for the 2013 deaths.

Traffic officials say the deadliest months in 2013 were July (52), September (50) and November (38). While the months with the fewest fatalities were January (16), March (22) and December (22).

During one weekend alone in September eight people were killed in traffic accidents on roads around the state.

There are 10 counties in Minnesota that have not reported a traffic fatality in 2013, according to the Star Tribune. The newspaper says the counties are among some of the state's least populated.

Additionally, the Department of Public Safety said 23,800 motorists were arrested for DWI in Minnesota in 2013.

Despite a busy December when 2,400 drivers were arrested for DWI, it was still a significant decrease from 2012 when 28,418 people were arrested for impaired driving in Minnesota.

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