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Are traffic fatalities increasing or decreasing?

Are you one of the many Minnesota residents who has been involved in a motor vehicle accident in the past year or so? Perhaps you have even lost a loved one in an unnecessary crash caused by another negligent driver. If so, you may find it interesting to know that across the nation, the number of deaths in automobile wrecks has sadly been rising.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released fatality records comparing the the first nine months of 2016 to the same set of time in the prior year. The results are disappointing at best. Across Minnesota and five of its neighboring states - Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin - a jump of fourpercent was noted. Nationally, there was an eight percent increase in automotive deaths. This marks the second consecutive year for a rise in the number of traffic deaths in the U.S. for this period of time as an increase slightly more than eight percent was noted between 2014 and 2015.

These numbers are consistent with the overall fatality counts in Minnesota. In 2015, there were 411 deaths on the state's roads and highways up from 361 the year before. The increase between 2014 and 2015 can be seen in multiple categories including accidents involving alcohol, pedestrians and motorcyclists. From 2014 to 2015, drunk driving deaths rose from 108 to 115. Pedestrian deaths rose from 15 to 39 and motorcyclist deaths jumped from 46 to 61.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give Minnesotans an overview of the traffic fatality rates and trends in Minnesota and across the nation.

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