Minnesota has its share of car accidents, of course, and many of them result in debilitating injuries – or worse. When you stack our state up against the country, it’s actually one of the safer ones in which to drive. But that doesn’t mean the number of accidents is acceptable.
If you’ve suffered an injury in a car wreck that wasn’t your fault, one of the most important things to remember is that the attorneys with Sand Law will be here for you. Not only do we have years of experience representing clients who have been hurt due to the negligence of others, we also have a long track record of success. Call 651-291-7263 or contact us online for a free case review to learn more.
Here’s a quick look at statistics for car accidents in Minnesota, also with some information on how we compare with other states.
Injury and Fatality Statistics
Unfortunately, traffic fatalities jumped in 2020 compared with the previous year. According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety/Office of Traffic Safety, there were 394 fatalities in 2020 and 364 in 2019. Of those fatalities, 256 were motorists and 64 were motorcyclists.
There is some good news, however, regarding injuries resulting from vehicular accidents. While 20,529 people were hurt in 2020, that was actually a decrease from the year before. However, 1,310 people suffered injuries that were classified as either serious or severe.
There were 122 fatalities attributed to speeding in 2020, according to the Minnesota DPS. And another 105 were blamed on a failure to wear seat belts. Drunk driving led to 79 deaths, while distracted driving contributed to 32 fatalities.
You’ll see later that Minnesota is a relatively safe state in which to drive a car. But, like in other states, Minnesotans admit to some incredibly risky driving behaviors.
Researchers conducted a survey of drivers throughout the state in 2014. Even though some might consider this survey outdated, the results still paint a pretty disturbing picture. The purpose of the study was to determine the behaviors of Minnesota drivers – especially those who admitted to committing dangerous driving actions in the previous 30 days. These include driving after having two or more alcoholic beverages, speeding, texting while driving, and driving without a seat belt.
According to the results, nearly 30% of Minnesota drivers admitted to texting and driving. About 10% admitted to the other dangerous behaviors (speeding, drinking, texting while driving). Nearly 30% of respondents also said they had driven after drinking while not wearing a seat belt.
Location and Time Statistics
As you might expect, the seven most populous counties in Minnesota (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington) accounted for the most crashes in 2020. More than 75% of all accidents occurred in cities with a population of 5,000 or more people. But fatal accidents tended to take place on rural roads, ones that lack the safety features of interstate highways, yet still have high speed limits.
The time of year also has an impact on fatal accidents. During the winter months, most accidents tend to be minor, more of the “fender-bender” variety. The most logical reason is that the vast majority of Minnesotans are safe enough to drive slower on icy, snowy roads. When warmer weather occurs, however, speeds increase – and so do fatal accidents and severe injuries.
According to Minnesota DPS statistics, the periods between 6-9 am and 3-6 pm are the most dangerous, since more people are on the roads going either to work or from work. Since there isn’t as much traffic on the weekends, there are fewer crashes.
On average, about 1,000 accidents involving cars and pedestrians occur on average. In 2020, there were 753 pedestrian accidents that resulted in 654 injuries and 45 deaths.
Like car accidents, most pedestrian/vehicle accidents take place during rush hour, which is defined as 6-9 am and 3-6 pm. About 60% of injuries and 47% fatalities took place when pedestrians were trying to cross a road in traffic. While motorists are supposed to give the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing a corner or intersection, pedestrians have responsibilities as well. They must make it as easy to be seen as possible, wearing high-visibility clothing whenever they can.
How Do Minnesota Drivers Stack Up Against the Rest of the Country?
Even though there are still too many instances of fatal car accidents, as well as those that result in severe injuries, Minnesota compares very favorably to the rest of the United States when it comes to safe driving. In fact, driving in Minnesota has become exponentially safer than it was in 1968, according to one analysis of car accidents and outcomes.
There were 1,060 traffic deaths that year, a rate of 5.3 per 100 million miles that were driven. In 2020, the 394 fatalities represented a rate of only .76 per 100 million miles driven. It was one of the lowest in the US. Some of the factors playing a role in that improvement include:
- faster emergency personnel responses
- improved highway and vehicle design
- tougher seat belt and drunk driving laws
Have You Been Involved in a Car Accident? Contact Sand Law as Soon as Possible for a Free Case Evaluation
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, and someone else was to blame, you should get in touch with a personal injury attorney with Sand Law as fast as you can. This will be very important, because it will provide you with the best chance possible to obtain full and fair compensation for your suffering.
Why is fast action so critical? The biggest reason is that you’ll need strong evidence in order to recover your lost wages, medical expenses, and other damages you’ve incurred because of the wreck. But the accident scene can change quickly. Heavy rain, for instance, could wash away skid marks that could show the other driver was speeding, and didn’t have enough time to stop. An attorney can also obtain footage from any surveillance cameras that could have captured the collision.