Memorial Day Marks Start Of Deadly Stretch On Minnesota Roads

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Memorial Day through Labor Day marks the 100 deadliest days on Minnesota roads.

During that 100-day stretch last year, 120 people died on Minnesota roadways. Those deaths account for more than 30 percent of the state’s traffic deaths in 2016.

Memorial Day weekend is traditionally the unofficial beginning of summer, and for Minnesota, it ushers in some of the deadliest day on roads.

“This next hundred days is when we will see a significant number of our fatalities,” said Cpt. Mike Hanson.

Hanson says speeds increase when temperatures rise. Warm weather is a big factor in the rise of fatalities during the next 100 days.

“We have a short window period to enjoy summer in Minnesota and as a consequence we always tend to get in a hurry, we’re distracted, were trying to do too many things at once,” said Cpt. Hanson.

Hanson says with all the congestion and construction projects across the state, drivers should focus on the road. Distracted and impaired driving are two things pushing the number of traffic fatalities up between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Hanson says there are ways to protect yourself when on the road.

“Always, always, always make sure you and everyone in the vehicle is buckled up. That is your best defense against a mistake being made by another driver. The second part of that has to do with paying attention,” said Hanson.

State troopers will be out in full force, phasing in seat belt and distracted driving enforcement through the next 100 days.

Cpt. Hanson says if Minnesota motorists watch their speed, avoid distractions, wear seat belts and don’t drive impaired, we have a chance of breaking the cycle of an increase in traffic deaths this summer.

According to the Department of Public Safety, there have been 115 fatalities on Minnesota roads, compared to 125 at this time last year. Troopers hope the decline in fatalities is a sign educating the public about the 100 deadliest days is paying off.

More from Reg Chapman
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