*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


In 2019…

364 people died on Minnesota highways, a decrease of 4% from 2018.   27,260 were injured, most not seriously, a decrease from last year. There were 333  fatal crashes; 1,520 people had severe/serious injuries. 174,422 people were involved in crashes; 148,774 motor vehicles were involved in crashes.  612 crashes involved at least 1 bicyclist, 858 crashes involved at least one pedestrian, one in five fatalities were less than 25 years of age, 8,824 crashes were classified as “hit and run.” The economic loss to Minnesota from these crashes was $1.87 billion.


In 1968 in Minnesota, there were 1,060 traffic fatalities which was 5.3 per          hundred million miles driven. In 2018 there were 364 fatalities which is .59 per hundred million miles driven, one of the safest rates in the country.

Many factors made our roadway travel safer. Primary seatbelts, drunk driving laws, better designed highways, better EMT response, and safer car design.


  • Breakdown of Total Fatalities:

237 died in motor vehicles, 50 were pedestrians, 44 motorcyclists, 4 on an ATV, 10 riding bicycles, 5 snowmobile, 9 trucks, 2 moped and 3 unknowns.


                                   According to crash reports, the majority

                             of crashes occur in good driving conditions

                            daylight hours, clear weather, & good roads


The top four contributing factors in 2019 traffic fatalities continue to be:

Drunk driving- 89 deaths – Speed -75 deaths

Unbuckled motorists – 73 deaths — Distraction–34 deaths



  • Daytime Seatbelt use is estimated at 93.4%  with at women 95% and men at 92%

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 77% were wearing a seatbelt. But that percentage has risen from 2013 year which was at 67%.  That is the lowest use region in the state. Southcentral region is second lowest, (82.6%). The Southeast region was the best, (88%). Township roads had the lowest seatbelt usage when death or injury occurs. Interstates had the most usage.  Of the 248 vehicle occupant deaths, 48 people were either ejected or partially ejected from their vehicles. Most of those ejected were not belted. Seatbelt use in all parts of Minnesota is increasing.


         The most dangerous month this year was August with

        48 deaths and 2,505 injuries. The most dangerous holiday

                           period was Thanksgiving weekend.


  • 61% of all fatal crashes occurred in rural areas (less than 5000 population). Most injury and property crashes occur more often in urban areas. The 7- county metro area had 34% of the fatal crashes, but 62% of all crashes. Fatal crashes occurred most often in the afternoon between 2pm thru 7pm. 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. 89 people under age 30 died in crashes, 24% of all fatalities There were 9,892 people under 30 who were injured representing 36% of all injuries.


  • Motorcycle deaths and injuries decreased from 2015 from 61 deaths to 44 and 1,232 to 840 injuries. 68% of those killed were known to NOT be wearing their helmet. The most dangerous time for motorcyclists is between noon to 6 pm.  43% of tested motorcyclists involved in crashes were over .08BAC.  There were 930 crashes involving motorcycles. June was their most dangerous month for crashes and August for fatalities. Ages 25 to 29 and 55 to 59 had the most fatalities and injuries. County state roads were where 50% of the fatalities happened and 25% of the injuries.


  • Pedestrian involved crashes with a vehicle numbered 1,008. Deaths decreased from 60 in 2016 to 50 in 2019 but up from 2018. Most deaths happen in larger cities. October was the most dangerous month. 35% of tested pedestrians killed were over .08BAC.  Most drivers were driving straight ahead on the roadway when they hit the pedestrian. Main contributing factors of the driver for the crash was failure to yield and distracted driving and for the pedestrian was darting/dashing into the roadway. 60% of pedestrians killed and injured were walking across traffic.


  • Bicycle Crashes with a vehicle increased from last year 609 to 691, but fatalities increased from 7 last year to 10 in 2019. The most dangerous time is from 3:00 – 6:00 pm., most of these crashes were in bigger cities and most of the riders were under 25 years old. August was the worse month for fatalities, and most crashes happen on the week days. Failure to yield the right of way was cited most often for both the bicyclists and other motor vehicle drivers. For bicyclists, a disregard for traffic control device and non- motorist error was noted. Driver inattention or distraction was the second contributing factor cited most often for the other drivers. 48% of bicyclists were cycling across traffic prior to crash.

More bicycle crash facts are at this website https://www.dot.state.mn.us/bike/


  • For senior drivers*: People over 65 are safe drivers as a general rule, but are more likely to die if they are involved in a traffic crash. Drivers over 65 years old are 20% of the driving public and they were involved in 16% of all traffic crashes. There were 93 seniors who died in traffic fatalities and 5,568 injured.  5 senior drivers who died were over the legal limit.  For older drivers involved in crashes, failure to yield, and careless/negligent/erratic driving were the most cited for cause of crash. Most all senior involved crashes happen between noon and 5pm. Most dangerous month in 2019 for senior crashes was February and for fatal crashes, July.

*Any crash where a senior driver is involved not including pedestrians or bicyclist

  • Trucks There were 5,369 crashes and 56 fatalities and 1,431 people injured. Most of these crashes happened between 6:30 am to 3pm and usually with clear weather and dry roads.


  • School Bus crashes happened when skies are clear but roads are not. Wet, snowy, icy roads contribute to over half of school bus crashes. There were 704 crashes, 1 fatality and 180 injuries.


  • Hit and Run crashes: 8374 crashes were classified as hit and run, an increase from 2018. 11% of all crashes were hit and run.

Contributing factors in most all crashes is failure to yield

               Most common contributing factor in single vehicle

crashes are Careless/Negligent/& Erratic driving

                    The two most contributing factors in fatal crashes are Careless/

Negligent/Erratic driving and Speeding.


The population of Minnesota is about 5.61 million

 5.1 million motor vehicles are registered

There are over 4.7 million licensed drivers

Over 60.7 billion miles were driven

There were 80,636 traffic crashes


Statistics taken from 2019 Crash Facts Minnesota Department of Public Safety                





*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

A drunk driving related crash means that one of the drivers was tested to be .08BAC or above.


  • 114 people died in crashes classified as “alcohol- related*” That is 9 less people than last year but still is 31% of the total fatalities. Of the 364 fatalities in 2019, 29%, or 107 of those tested were, .08 bac or higher. There were 4,113 alcohol-related crashes and 2,176 people injured.


  •  June & August were the most dangerous months. The most dangerous time for an alcohol-related crash is 9 pm – 2am and especially early Saturday morning. 57% of alcohol-related crashes happen on the weekend


  • Of the 202 drivers killed and tested for alcohol after a fatal crash, 137 tested .00BAC    3 tested .01 – .07BAC, 4 between .08 & .09, and 58 tested .10 or above.


There is a strong relationship between alcohol and the severity of a crash

In 2018 alcohol was involved in 14% of possible/minor injury crashes,

 23% of serious injury crashes and 32% of fatalities.


  • Drinking drivers themselves pay the price in 2019 77% of the 114 people who died in alcohol-related crashes were themselves the people whose drinking behavior caused the crash.

The Average BAC in a fatal alcohol related crash is .21


  • Majority of alcohol-related fatalities test above the legal limit. The 114 alcohol-related fatalities in 2019,  89 were “drunk driving related,” of those 67 were the driver, 14 the passenger and 8 the pedestrian.
  • Friday, Saturday and Sunday accounted for 39% of all crashes but 57% of alcohol-related crashes. Late night hours (9 – 3 am) accounted for 12% of all crashes but 41% of alcohol related crashes. Summer is the deadliest.



As noted by police officer on crash report Officer could enter up to 2 physical conditions

Physical Condition                    In Fatal Crash                             In Injury Crash

Normal                                                      307                                               32,217

Had been Drinking                                    52                                                1,244

Had Taken Illicit Drugs                             12                                                     185

Had taken Medications                             2                                                     65

Emotional                                                    0                                                    78

Fatigued/asleep                                          5                                                    390

Physical Disability                                       1                                                      44

Medical Issue                                              3                                                    370

Other                                                            9                                                    100

Unknown                                                 663                                              137,195


  • In the 1960’s around 60% of all traffic deaths were alcohol related, now it is 32%. That most likely is due to many changes in behavior, laws, safer roads and vehicles with seat belts and air bags.
  • County State Aid Highways (rural roads) had the most alcohol- related crashes and deaths.


  • There were 27,378 impaired incidents (DWI arrests) in 2019. 1 in 7 Minnesota drivers has a DWI on record. Half of these drivers will reoffend. The age for the most DWI arrests was those 20 to 24 with second highest 30 to 34.


  •   Information on these pages came from the Department of Public Safety – Crash Facts



  •   More info on 2019 impaired driving arrests will be added here when available from DPS.


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 50- 63

To see an Overview of Minnesota Laws, go to page 64