Minnesota is closing in on a concerning record. The state could see the number of annual traffic fatalities top 500, a number that was last reached 14 years ago.
According to the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety, a total of 465 people have died on state roads through November. The number of fatalities is on pace to come close to 510 deaths reached on Minnesota roads in 2007.
Focus on Defensive Driving
The spike in fatalities has been a nationwide trend and likely tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the past several months, an increasing number of drivers have skirted traffic laws by speeding, drag racing, not wearing seat belts and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Now, with the pending holiday season and winter weather conditions, Minnesota drivers should anticipate more dangers. Here are some safe driving tips:
- Plan your travels around poor weather conditions: Snowy and icy roads contribute to many road crashes. Prepare for your trips by monitoring weather reports.
- Make defensive driving a habit: Remain vigilant about the behaviors of other drivers, who can be unpredictable, aggressive and lawless.
- Remain alert to erratic drivers: Whether impaired, aggressive, distracted or just a poor driver, make sure to maintain your distance.
- Slow down: Speeding accounts for one-third of all fatalities that occur in the U.S. Avoid speeding and stay away from drivers who do.
- Rely on seat belts: Buckling up protects lives. Make sure that your passengers do the same.
- Do not engage with an angry driver: Do not give in to the temptation of calling out careless drivers even when they are aggressors and you are a victim of their poor driving. There is danger in provoking reckless drivers.