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 In 2014…

361 people died on Minnesota highways, lowest number since 1943 29,439 were injured, about 2/3 of these injury crashes thankfully were minor injuries

  • Breakdown of Total Fatalities:*

271 died in motor vehicles, 17 were pedestrians, 46 motorcyclists, 7 ATV, 4 snowmobile, 5 riding bicycles, 1 on farm equipment and 6 large trucks, others 4

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 25.5%
  2.  Driver inattention 12.6%,
  3. Chemical impairment 6.9%
  4. Overcorrecting 7.2%
    1/3 of crashes involved one vehicle
  • Contributing factors in MULTIPLE vehicle crashes
  1. Driver inattention 20.3%,
  2. Failure to yield 18.6%,
  3. Following too closely 12.4%
  4. Speed 7.7%

On an Average Day in Minnesota 
215 Crashes
1  Death and 81 Injuries
Daily Cost to Society  $4,394663


  • Daytime Seatbelt use is estimated at 94.7%. 
    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, 72% were wearing a seatbelt. But that percentage has risen from last year which was at 67%.  That is the lowest use region in the state. Southwest region is second lowest, (80%). The Southeast region was the best, (87.2%). Township roads had the lowest use of seatbelt usage when death or injury occurs. Of the 278 vehicle occupant deaths, 31% of these were either ejected or partially ejected from their vehicles. 94% of those ejected were not belted.

The most dangerous month this year was August with 39 deaths and 2,604 injuries.
The most dangerous holiday period was Christmas with 9 deaths and 325 injuries


  • Severe injuries and deaths are on the decrease mainly because of seat belt use, safer road construction and EMS response. But 38% (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.
  • Main contributing factors of crashes involving a single motorcycle were speed (19%), driver inexperience(11%), distraction (11%) and chemical impairment.  Motorcycle and vehicle crashes attributed to the motor vehicle driver are usually caused by - failure to yield (40%) and driver inattention & distraction (19%). 40% of all crashes are alcohol related
  • Pedestrian involved crash incidence decreased in 2014 from 868 to 818. Deaths decreased from 35 to 17.  Most deaths happen in larger cities during the two rush hours. October was the most dangerous month. 40% of pedestrians killed were over .10BAC.  Ages 20 to 24 had the most deaths and injuries.  17.6% of those killed were crossing a street without a crosswalk;   5.9% at signaled intersections and 23.5% crossing in a cross walk with no signal.

    Most drivers 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 10 pedestrian fatalities with a positive test for alcohol, four pedestrians were over .10g/dl  only one involved an impaired driver over the limit.


  • Bicycle Crashes decreased from 862 (2013) to 776. The most dangerous time is from 3:00 – 6:00 pm and most of these were in big cities.  August 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. These statistics are only for bicycle crashes with motor vehicles.

    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 14.2% of all traffic crashes in 2014 but accounted for 22.7% of traffic fatalities. This percent is increasing as more seniors are on the roads. 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.

    Most dangerous month for fatalities is July and August and for crashes is the winter months


  • Hit and Run crashes:  7078 crashes were classified as hit and run. Of those crashes, 8 resulted in fatalities, and 1407 injuries.

Collision with moving motor vehicle   2 fatalities - 903 injuries

Collision with parked vehicle – 0 fatalities - 81 injuries

Collision with bicycle – 1 fatalities and 100 injuries

Collision with pedestrian -- 4 fatalities and 151 injuries

Other   --   1 fatality and 148 injuries

25 Deadliest Counties for Impaired Driving

  • Hennepin               Meeker
  • Anoka                    Sherburne
  • Ramsey                 Becker
  • St. Louis                Mille Lacs
  • Dakota                  Clay
  • Stearns                 Morrison
  • Otter Tail               Carlton
  • Olmsted                Pine
  • Itasca                    
  • Scott
  • Washington
  • Wright
  • Crow Wing
  • Beltrami
  • Benton
  • Cass
  • Blue Earth

13  Counties that didn’t have any Traffic Fatalities

  • Martin                Traverse
  • Houston             Wilkin
  • Pipestone           Norman
  • Pope                    Lake
  • Stevens               Koochiching
  • Big Stone            Red Lake
  • Kittson


      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

 3 of 4 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 78,396 traffic crashes,

190,700 people were involved in these crashes

143,681 motor vehicles were involved in crashes

Total economic loss $1.6 million


Statistics taken from 2014 Crash Facts Minnesota Department of Public Safety         

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*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


  • 111 people died in crashes classified as “alcohol- related*” That is 31% of the total fatalities. There were 3,453 alcohol-related crashes and 2,040 people injured.  This is a decrease in deaths and injuries from 2013.
  • Most of the alcohol-related fatal crashes (65%) involved a single vehicle colliding with a fixed object (31), losing control and overturning or hitting a non-vehicle or person (21).
  • August was the most dangerous month. The most dangerous time for an alcohol-related crash is 9 pm – 3am and especially early Saturday morning. 60% of alcohol-related crashes happen on the weekend
  • Of the 200 drivers tested for alcohol after a fatal crash, 129 tested .00 BAC, 8 tested .01 - .07BAC, 3 between .08 & .09, and 60 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 25,258 impaired incidents (DWI arrests). This is a 2% decrease from last year.  Of those incidents, 53% were age 21 – 34, 6% under 21, 26% age 35 – 49, 15% were 50 and older. That is 70 DWI arrests per day.

40% of those arrested already have a DWI on their record. About half of those who are arrested for the second time will be arrested again.

  • 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. 

72% 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. 

Compiled from Minnesota Crash Facts 2014, Minnesota Department of Public Safety. For more information go to their website at


Have you ever wondered when DWI laws were enacted, what was the laws in 1925 or 1985? Go to this website and scroll down to page 45.