DPS: Minnesota surpasses 100 traffic deaths at earliest point in 6 years

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says the state has surpassed 100 traffic deaths in the earliest amount of time in the past six years.

As of Friday morning, DPS confirmed 102 fatal crashes across the state. At this time last year, 82 people had died. The state reached 100 deaths on May 26 of last year.

According to DPS, the first 100 traffic fatalities include:

  • 82 motor vehicle occupants compared with 60 reported this time last year,
  • Two motorcyclists compared with three reported this time last year,
  • 11 pedestrians compared with 13 reported this time last year,
  • Two bicyclists compared with two reported this time last year,
  • 22 deaths involving crashes with heavy vehicle trucks,
  • 51 single-vehicle crashes,
  • 49 multi-vehicle crashes.

Additionally, many of the crashes involved alcohol, excessive speed and no seat belts. Twenty-one people died in alcohol-related crashes, down from 31 this time last year. Two died from distracted driving, 40 people died in speed-related deaths — compared to 22 at this time last year — and 31 died from not wearing a seatbelt.

"Excessive speed continues to take a horrific and preventable toll on our roads," said Mike Hanson, Office of Traffic Safety director. "Alcohol, distraction, and no seat belts also continue to contribute to the loss of life in 2021. It doesn’t have to be this way, and every Minnesotan has the power to stop the heartache and make choices that keep everyone alive. Drive smart by slowing down, paying attention, planning a sober ride and buckling up."

Of the first 100 traffic deaths, 70% are male. According to DPS, ages 51-plus make up 31% of the crashes, while ages 21-50 made up 48% of the crashes. The most deadly crashes involved the age group of 31-40 years old.

The largest amount of deadly crashes happened in 2015 when 411 people died.