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There was excellent news with the final data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report showing that highway deaths were fewer across the country. The drop was nine percent. This was the lowest level in 50 years. In Minnesota, the drop was 11 percent from the 510 deaths recorded in 2007.

Some have suggested that the spike in gasoline costs contributed to the overall decline, because people ended up driving less. The number of vehicle miles traveled dropped by about 3.6 percent nationally, after climbing for several decades. The state Department of Transportation reported 57.3 billion vehicle miles traveled on Minnesota roads last year, compared with 57.4 billion in 2007.

There are still ongoing concerns about motorcycle, pedestrian and drunk driving deaths. All of which have seen increases over the last couple of years. The report found 72 motorcyclist fatalities, representing 16 percent of all traffic deaths, which was also the biggest rider death count since 1985. "People are still dying every day on our roads; 455 people, that’s like three jetliners going down," Cheri Marti, director of the state’s Office of Traffic Safety said. "People seem to accept fatalities on our roads, yet families are torn apart. These are horrific tragedies."

With any death in a Minnesota motor vehicle collision, there are a number of issues that will need to be reviewed. My partner, Joe Crumley, addressed this topic in a recent article for the Minnesota Lawyers Trial magazine and I was interviewed last year on the same topic


  1. Gravatar for Daniel 8791

    I appreciate to hear the good news on the reduction in deaths. Still way too many motorcycle fatalities though, hopefully that will come down this year even with our rough start here in Minnesota.

  2. Gravatar for Mike Bryant

    The overall numbers are up this year, but hopefully that won't continue. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

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