The final numbers from 2008 from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report show that highway deaths were down across the country and in the Minnesota . This is great news. But there are still areas to improve:
- To date, there have been 212 traffic deaths in 2009, compared to 208 at this time last year.
- Minnesota Motor Vehicle Crash Facts details crashes by vehicle type, contributing factors, driver age and gender, and occurrence of crashes by county, as well as cities with populations of 2,500 or more.
- The 455 fatalities reflect the deaths of motorists (325); motorcyclists (72); pedestrians (25); bicyclists (13); ATV riders (10); school bus occupants (4); snowmobiles (1); and other (5 — golf cart, commercial bus, personal conveyance vehicle (3)).
- The most common factors in all 2008 crashes are, in order of frequency, driver inattention or distraction, failure to yield right-of-way and illegal or unsafe speed.
- While the state’s seat belt compliance rate (87 percent) is strong, only 45 percent of motorist fatalities were belted.
- in 2008 there were 31 teen deaths.
- there were 72 motorcyclist fatalities, representing 16 percent of all traffic deaths, which was o the biggest rider death count since 1985.
For the families involved each of these numbers is a person they loved. It is important that the numbers be used to drop the total again next year. Safety programs and laws such as the booster seat requirement for kids should help.
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
A founding partner with Bradshaw & Bryant, Mike Bryant has always fought to find justice for his clients—knowing that legal troubles, both personal injury and criminal, can be devastating for a family. Voted a Top 40 Personal Injury "Super Lawyer" multiple years, Mr. Bryant has also been voted one of the Top 100 Minnesota "Super Lawyers" four times.