11 Motorists Killed in 10 Days on Minn. Roads, Officials Say
At least 11 people have been killed in the past 10 days on Minnesota roads, the state Department of Public Safety reported Wednesday.
Since Feb. 24, the state had the first pedestrian death of the year. Two 16-year-olds also have died in vehicle crashes. Seven of the 11 killed were 27 years old or younger.
So far this year, there have been 47 traffic deaths - a decline from 57 deaths during this time a year ago.
The crash numbers came from preliminary traffic reports compiled by the public safety department's traffic safety office.
The number of pedestrian deaths remains steady for the state, officials reported. Last year, 39 pedestrians died, and 40 in 2011. Officials are reminding motorists to drive attentively. Pedestrians are reminded to make eye contact with drivers.
Public safety officials also warn that traffic crashes are the leading cause of death among teens. Young drivers typically crash because of inexperience driving, risk-taking, distractions and poor seatbelt compliance.
“These very sad events serve as an important reminder for parents that teens are not experienced drivers, and that it is critical to continue to train them so they grow safer behind the wheel,” said Gordy Pehrson, teen driving coordinator for the public safety department, in a statement. “A teen with a license still needs to be monitored and trained, especially during their first 12 months of driving.”
Here are tips for parents to encourage safer teen driving:
- Provide supervised driving training, and continue to do so even after licensure.
- Train teens on urban and rural roads, and different weather driving conditions.
- Reinforce laws for teens.
- Set passenger limitations and nighttime driving rules.
- Create a driving contract between parent and teen to set rules.
- Teen License Parent Withdrawal forms also are available for parents to cancel their teen's driver's license.
Additional teen driving information can be found on the state's public safety department website.