MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The state of Minnesota hit a grim milestone over the last week, when nine road deaths pushed the state’s road fatality count over 100 for the year.
The Department of Public Safety said that number is still pacing below 2010′s levels. If trends continue, 2011 should end with a tally of about 375 road deaths.
Last year’s final numbers haven’t been announced yet, but 2009 saw 421 deaths on the roads.
Officials credited positive driver behavior as well as increased education and trauma response for the lower numbers this year.
The State Patrol, though, cautioned that drivers should remain on guard and driving defensively as we move into the summer season.
“Memorial Day weekend is historically the launching point into the deadly summer driving season,” said Lt. Eric Roeske. “As warm weather and bicycle and motorcycle traffic returns, everyone needs to be attentive to create safer roads, and motorists must be buckled up.”