Car crashes are among the leading causes of death and injury in the United States, and Minnesota is no exception. According to the latest statistics from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, there were 451 fatal crashes and 17,483 injury crashes in the state in 2021, resulting in 488 deaths and 24,083 injuries.
These numbers represent a 24% increase in fatalities and a 17.3% increase in injuries compared to the previous year.
Human error remains the leading cause of Minnesota car accidents
While weather conditions and mechanical failure contribute to a fair number of crashes in Minnesota, human error is the top contributor to traffic accidents. Failure to yield right of way is the most frequent contributing human factor behind most of these crashes, closely followed by speeding and careless driving. Distracted driving, driving under the influence and disregarding road markings are among Minnesota’s other leading causes of car accidents.
The deadliest day of the week
Most accidents occur during peak driving hours (6 am-9 am and 3 pm to 6 pm) as people commute to and from work or school, but certain days of the week are more deadly than others. According to the report, Friday afternoons were the most dangerous time to be on the road in 2021, perhaps owing to increased traffic, alcohol consumption and driver fatigue.
Teenagers are at increased risk of crashes
Teenage drivers (aged 15-19) represented 9% of drivers but accounted for 18% of total crashes in 2021. There were 11,283 crashes involving teens, resulting in 54 fatalities and 4,476 injuries. Most of these accidents occurred during the first month of independent driving due to inexperience, speeding, distractions and risk-taking.
Efforts to improve road safety
Minnesota has implemented various measures to improve road safety to address the alarming increase in car accidents. Increased law enforcement presence, especially during peak driving hours, has been crucial in deterring reckless behavior. Additionally, public awareness campaigns highlighting the dangers of distracted driving and the importance of responsible alcohol consumption have been launched to educate drivers and change behaviors.
Were you or a loved one involved in an accident?
Despite numerous efforts to improve road safety, accidents continue to happen. Therefore, it helps to be prepared for such an eventuality so that you can take appropriate action to protect your interests. Being proactive can go a long way in better ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve for any harm and losses suffered. Seeking legal guidance is usually a good first step when responding to a crash scenario.