*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 2018…

381 people died on Minnesota highways, an increase of 24 people from 2017. 27,877 were injured, a decrease from last year; most not seriously. There were 79,215 crashes; 1,341 people had severe/serious injuries. 172,115 people were involved in crashes; 146,107 motor vehicles were involved in crashes.  609 crashes involved at least 1 bicyclist, 1,109 crashes involved at least one pedestrian, one in five fatalities were less than 25 years of age, 8,374 crashes were classified as “hit and run” The economic loss to Minnesota from these crashes was $1.8 billion


  • Breakdown of Total Fatalities:

258 died in motor vehicles, 45 were pedestrians, 58 motorcyclists, 10 on an ATV, 7 riding bicycles, 3 other types of vehicles

The fatality rate in Minnesota is one of the lowest in the nation’s rate based on 100 million miles traveled. Minnesota .60 million miles were driven. One third of crashes involve only one vehicle.



  • Careless/reckless/Erratic
  • Run off the road
  • Over correcting
  • Speed

                             Alcohol not included


  • Following too close
  • Failure to yield
  • Careless/Reckless/Erratic driving
  • Distracted Driving

                           Alcohol not included

On an Average Day in Minnesota

217 Crashes

1 Died and 76 were injured

Average daily cost to society $4,915,406


  • Daytime Seatbelt use is estimated at 92%.   Women 95% and Men 90%

In June of 1986 only 33% of drivers used a seatbelt.  In the northwest region of Minnesota among occupants that were killed or injured only 75% 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, (80%). The Southeast region was the best, (88.9%). Township roads had the lowest seatbelt usage when death or injury occurs. Interstates had the most usage.  Of the 258 vehicle occupant deaths, 68 people were either ejected or partially ejected from their vehicles. 66% of those ejected were not belted.


Airbag deployment was reported 21,086 times when seatbelt was used. 59% of these incidents resulted in no apparent injury. The airbag was deployed 662 times when a seatbelt was not connected and only 29% of the times were there no injuries.


The most dangerous month this year was October with 40 deaths and 1,687 injuries the most dangerous holiday period was Memorial weekend period with 8 deaths and 257 injuries


  • 58% 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 noon and 6pm; 30% of fatalities and 43% of all crashes.  This has changed from the early 90’s when it was most common between 10pm and 2am. 41% of all fatalities happen Friday through Sunday. Non-fatal crashes are equally divided over the week.


  • Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death to young people. 111 people under age 30 died in crashes, 29% of all fatalities There were 10,797 people under 30 who were injured representing 39% of all injuries.


  • Motorcycle deaths and injuries decreased from 2015 from 61 deaths to 58 and 1,232 to 913 injuries. 72% of those killed were known to NOT be wearing their helmet, an increase from last year. 55% of these crashes did not crash with another vehicle. The most dangerous time for motorcyclists is between 3-5 pm. 32% of tested motorcyclists involved in crashes were over .08BAC.  There were 1,004 crashes involving motorcycles. June was their most dangerous month.


Main contributing factors of crashes involving a single motorcycle were careless/negligent/erratic driving, run off the road, speed, (alcohol not included).  Motorcycle and vehicle crashes attributed to the motor vehicle driver are usually caused by failure to yield, careless/negligent/erratic driving, following too close, and driver inattention & distraction.  (alcohol not included)


  • Pedestrian involved crashes numbered 1,017. Deaths decreased from 60 in 2016 to 45 in 2018.  Most deaths happen in larger cities. September was the most dangerous month. 25% of tested pedestrians killed were over .08BAC.  Ages 20 to 24 had the most deaths and ages 25 to 29 had the most injuries.  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.  Late afternoon is the most dangerous time,


  • Bicycle Crashes decreased from last year 801 to 609, but fatalities increased from 6 last year to 7 in 2018. 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. These statistics are only for bicycle crashes with motor vehicles.

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 15% of all traffic crashes. There were 73 seniors who died in traffic fatalities and 6 senior drivers who died were over the legal limit.  Senior are involved in 19% of traffic fatalities. 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 2018 for senior crashes was January and for fatal crashes, October.

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


  • Hit and Run crashes:  8374 crashes were classified as hit and run, an increase from 2017.

Of those crashes, 7 resulted in fatalities, and 944 injuries.

Collision with moving motor vehicle   0 fatalities – 667 injuries

Collision with parked vehicle – 0 fatalities – 27 injuries

Collision with bicycle – 0 fatality and 59 injuries

Collision with pedestrian — 4 fatalities and 149 injuries

Fixed objects – 1 fatality – 47 injuries

Non-collision – 1 fatality – 19 injuries

The population of Minnesota is about 5.61 million

 5.3 million motor vehicles are registered

There are over 4 million licensed drivers

Over 60 billion miles were driven

There were 79,215 traffic crashes,

Statistics taken from 2018 Crash Facts Minnesota Department of Public Safety


The new 2018 DWI Impaired Incident Report is not ready yet


*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

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


  • 123 people died in crashes classified as “alcohol- related*” That is 10 more people than last year but still is 32% of the total fatalities. Of the 381 fatalities in 2018, 22% of those tested were .08 bac or higher. There were 4,027 alcohol-related crashes and 2,156 people injured.


  • Most of the alcohol-related fatal crashes involved a single vehicle either colliding with a fixed object or losing control and overturning. Of the 115 alcohol-related fatal crashes: 37 involved a single vehicle colliding with a fixed object and 23 involved a single vehicle losing control and overturning.


  • May & June were the most dangerous months. The most dangerous time for an alcohol-related crash is 5 pm – 3am and especially early Saturday morning. 58% of alcohol-related crashes happen on the weekend


  • Of the 222 drivers killed and tested for alcohol after a fatal crash, 139 tested .00bac,    6 tested .01 – .07bac, 5 between .08 & .09, and 59 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 2018 78% of the 123 people who died in alcohol-related crashes were themselves the people whose drinking behavior caused the crash. The other 27 people were not drinking and were probably innocent victims.


  • Majority of alcohol-related fatalities test above the legal limit. The 123 alcohol-related fatalities in 2018 consisted of 69 car or truck drivers, 12 car or truck passengers, 22 motorcycle drivers, 4 ATV drivers, 12 pedestrians and 4 bicycles. Of this number 102 were tested and 80% of them tested above .08bac.



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                                                      304                                               32,986

Had been Drinking                                    54                                                 1,247

Had Taken Illicit Drugs                             14                                                     216

Had taken Medications                             4                                                     124

Emotional                                                    0                                                    116

Fatigued/asleep                                          7                                                    471

Physical Disability                                       0                                                      66

Medical Issue                                              0                                                    414

Other                                                            0                                                    187



  • 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.


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


  • There were 26,414 impaired incidents (DWI arrests) in 2018.  More info on 2018 arrests will be added here when available from DPS.  The 2017 statistics are below



2017 Impaired Driving Incidents

A DWI, Implied Consent or Criminal Vehicular Operation


  • There were 24,862 impaired incidents (DWI arrests). A 3% increase


  •  86% of the incidents involved taking a test for alcohol or drugs, 14% involved a test refusal. Of those incidents, 51% were age 21 – 34, 5% under 21, 27% age 35 – 49, 16% were 50 and older. That is 68 DWI arrests per day.


  • The number of high scoring violators, .20bac and above, have declined 39% ever since 1998. Compared to 2006, all counties’ arrest rates are down. Hopefully that means less people are driving impaired.


  • Twenty to 34-year old accounted for 52% of the impaired driving incidents in 2017. In addition, there were 1,212 impaired driving incidents among under age drivers

40% of those arrested already have a DWI on their record. There was about the same percentage of arrests in the Metro area as compared to the non-metro area.



  • When do these arrests occur? Thurs. after midnight & Friday accounted for 15%, Friday after midnight &Saturdays 26%, Saturday night after midnight & Sunday 24% and the rest during the week. In 2017, July had the most arrests, a close second was August.


The average blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for drivers with their first DWI offense was .147, for a repeat offender it was .164 and for drivers involved in drunk driving fatal crashes it is .19bac.


  • 1 in 7 Minnesota licensed drivers has a DWI on their record.  11.8% of Minnesota residents have a DWI.  1 in 16 has two or more DWI’s on their record, 1 in 34 have three or more. 1,359 have ten or more; one person has 27 on record. The counties with the highest percentages of DWI offenders are Mahnomen (24.9%), Mille Lacs (18.1%) Aitkin (17.1%), Cass (16.9%) and Clearwater (16.9%) some of these counties are vacation areas. The counties with the lowest rates are Stevens (8.5%), Rock (8.9%), Carver (9.1%) Washington (9.6%) and Olmstead (9.7%)
  • 82% of those who died in an alcohol related crash were

themselves the person whose drinking behavior caused the crash


  • Of the arrests, males were 65.6% of the number and females were 25.5% and 8.9% 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.  5% of the DWI arrests were for those illegal to drink.  The arrests rate for those age 50+ is increasing.
  • 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 and seat belts.
  • County State Aid Highways (rural roads) had the most alcohol related crashes and deaths.


Information taken from Minnesota Impaired Driving Facts




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