Check out menu for laws,
statistics and important information


 In 2013…

387 people died on Minnesota highways, a 2% increase from 2012. 30,653 were injured and this is a 4% increase from 2012 About 2/3 of these injury crashes thankfully were minor injuries

  • Breakdown of Total Fatalities:*

259 died in motor vehicles, 35 were pedestrians, 60 motorcyclists, 7 ATV, 2 snowmobile, 6 riding bicycles, 5 on farm equipment and 13 large trucks
Motor vehicle, pedestrians, ATV, and farm equipment deaths were down and the rest were up.

*All crash numbers only include crashes on roads and highways. It does not include crashes on private property including snowmobile or ATV trails or boats on rivers or lakes

  •  Contributing factors in SINGLE vehicle crashes
    1. Illegal or unsafe speed 26.3%
    2. Driver inattention 11.6%,
    3. Chemical impairment 6.7%
    4. Overcorrecting 6.9%
  • Contributing factors in MULTIPLE vehicle crashes
    1. Driver inattention 21.8%,
    2. Failure to yield 18.4%,
    3. Following too closely 12.7%
    4. Speed 7.6%

On an Average Day in Minnesota 
213 Crashes 1
Death and 84 Injuries

Daily Cost to Society  $4,351,026


  • Daytime Seatbelt use is estimated at 94.8%.

In June of 1986 only 20% of drivers used a seatbelt.  In the northwest region of Minnesota among occupants that were killed or injured only, only 76% were wearing a seatbelt. That is the lowest region in the state. But that percentage has risen from last year which was at 67%; the metro area had the best usage.  Of the 269 vehicle occupant deaths, 34% of these were either ejected or partially ejected from their vehicles. 90% of those ejected were not belted.

The most dangerous month this year was July with 54 deaths and 2,694 injuries.
The most dangerous holiday period was July 4th with 6 deaths and 222 injuries

Severe injuries and deaths are on the decrease mainly because of seat belt use and EMS response. But 35% (10% not known) of those killed were not wearing their seatbelts. This rate is much higher than the 6% non-use by all drivers throughout the state.

  • 66% of all fatal crashes occurred in rural areas (less than 5000 population). Injury and property crashes occur more often in urban areas. The 7 county metro area had 26% of the fatal crashes, but 61% of all crashes.

  • Fatal crashes occurred most often in the afternoon between 3 and 6pm. and in the morning between 6-9 am.  This has changed from the early 90’s when it was most common between 10pm and 2am.

  • Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death to young people. 110 people (28%) under age 25 died in crashes.  0 died under age 15; 21 died age 15 – 19 and 45 died ages 20 – 24. People aged 15-24 are 14.4% of licensed drivers yet they account for 23.4% of crash involved drivers.

  • Motorcycle deaths and injuries were the greatest in the 40 and older age bracket; they accounted for68% of all motorcycle crashes. 77% of those killed were known to NOT be wearing their helmet.  The most dangerous time for motorcyclists is between 3 –6 pm.  33% of tested motorcyclists involved in crashes were over .08BAC.  There has been a continuing increase in motorcycle registration. There were 1,266 crashes involving motorcycles; that is a 19% decrease, but fatalities are up. July & August were the most dangerous months.

    Main contributing factors of crashes involving a single motorcycle were speed(17%), driver inexperience(12%), distraction (10%) and chemical impairment.  Motorcycle and vehicle crashes attributed to the motor vehicle are usually caused by - failure to yield (39.8%)and driver inattention & distraction (21%). 37% of all crashes are alcohol related

  • Pedestrian involved crash incidence decreased in 2013 from 879 to 868. Deaths decreased by 5 from 40 to 35.  Most deaths happen in larger cities during the two rush hours. November was the most dangerous month. 37% of pedestrians killed were over .10BAC.  Ages 20 to 24 had the most deaths and injuries.  24% of those killed were crossing a street without a crosswalk;   15% at signaled intersections.

    One third of drivers causing the crash with a pedestrian were making a turn. Almost half were driving straight ahead on the roadway when they hit the pedestrian. Main contributing factors for the crash was failure to yield and distracted driving.
    Of the 16 pedestrian crashes involving alcohol only one involved an impaired driver.

  • Bicycle Crashes decreased from 920 (2012) to 822. The most dangerous time is from 3:00 – 6:00 pm in big cities.  July was the worse month. Failure to yield the right of way was cited most often for both the bicyclists and other motor vehicle drivers. Driver inattention or distraction was the second contributing factor cited most often for the other drivers. 4 of the 6 bicyclists killed were male, 875 were injured.
    More bicycle crash facts are at this website

  • ·For senior drivers:  People over 65 are safe drivers as a general rule, but are more likely to be killed if they are involved in a traffic crash. Senior drivers were involved in 13.7% of all traffic crashes in 2013 but accounted for 22.2% of traffic fatalities. For older drivers involved in crashes, failure to yield, driver inattention or distracted was the most cited for cause of crash. Most all senior involved crashes happen between noon and 5pm.

  • Hit and Run crashes:  2,263 crashes were classified as hit and run. Of those crashes, 12 resulted in fatalities, and 1453 injuries.

    Collision with moving motor vehicle   2 fatalities  882 injuries
    Collision with parked vehicle – 0 fatalities  69 injuries
    Collision with bicycle – 3 fatalities and 102 injuries
    Collision with pedestrian  -- 6 fatalities and 172 injuries
    Other   --   1 fatality and 228 injuries

  • Most crashes happen on clear days and during daylight hours

1/3 of all crashes involve just one vehicle
1/4  of all fatalities were less than 25 years old
2 of 3 fatalities occurred in rural areas (under 5000 population)

The population of Minnesota increased to 5.4 million
Over 5 million motor vehicles are registered
There are over 4 million licensed drivers
Over 57 billion miles were driven
There were 77,707 traffic crashes,
186,854 people were involved in these crashes
140,769 motor vehicles were involved in crashes
Total economic loss $1,588,124,400

Statistics taken from 2013 Crash Facts Minnesota Department of Public Safety

Return Top


 *a crash is classified as “alcohol-related” if any driver, pedestrian, or bicyclist is shown by a chemical test to be positive for alcohol. Then any people killed or injured in that crash are classified as alcohol-related. The test does not need to be over .08 BAC. to be alcohol- related


  • 117 people died in crashes classified as “alcohol- related*” That is 30% of the total fatalities. There were 3,669 alcohol-related crashes and 2,300 people injured.  This is a decrease in deaths and injuries from 2012.

  • Most of the alcohol-related fatal crashes (76%) involved a single vehicle colliding with a fixed object, losing control and overturning or hitting a non-vehicle or person.
  • August was the most dangerous month. The most dangerous time for an alcohol-related crash is 9 pm – 3am and especially early Saturday morning. 59% of alcohol-related crashes happen on the weekend
  • Of the 219 drivers tested for alcohol after a fatal crash,151 tested .00 BAC, 10 tested .01 - .07BAC, 3 between .08 & .09, and 55 tested .10 or above.

There is a strong relationship between alcohol and the severity of a crash
Alcohol is involved in 6% or minor injury crashes, 11% of moderate injuries,
 20% of severe injury crashes and 30% of fatalities.

  • There were 25,719 impaired incidents (DWI arrests). This is a 9% decrease from last year.  Of those incidents, 53% were age 20 – 34, 6% under 21, 26% age 35 – 49, 15% were 50 and older. That is 70 DWI arrests per day.
  • 1 in 7 Minnesota drivers has a DWI on their record.   1 in 17 has two or more DWI’s on their record. 41% of those who occur one violation will occur a second within 15 years of first arrest.  49% of DWI arrests were first time offenders.

    83% of those who died in an alcohol related crash were
    Themselves the person whose drinking behavior caused the crash

  • Of the arrests, males were 66.6% of the number and females were 25.3% and 8.1 not stated. In 1996, females made up 18% of DWI arrests.  One half of the state’s DWI’s arrests were made in the 7 county metro area.  11% of the DWI arrests were for those illegal to drink. 

  • In the 1960’s around 60% of all traffic deaths were alcohol related, now it is 30%.  That most likely is due to many changes in behavior, laws, safer roads and vehicles and seat belts.
  • County State Aid Highways (rural roads) had the most alcohol related crashes and deaths. 

Complied from Minnesota Crash Facts 2013, Minnesota Department of Public Safety. For more information go to their website at

Have you ever wondered when DWI laws were enacted? Go to this website and scroll down to page 45 and read about the first DWI law in 1911 and all that followed.