Fewer Minnesotans On the Road = More Traffic Deaths? Yes
A lot of the bad things that happen when we're out on the roads in full force aren't happening as much during the stay-at-home time, which makes sense. But a couple stats are up, and we can SO do something about it.
There were 133 DWIs this past weekend, compared to the average of 265 before the pandemic. But with bars and restaurants closed and the stay at home order in place, where is there to go after a few drinks?
There have been fewer crashes overall, too: from March 17 – March 26, the Minnesota State Patrol reported 389 crashes this year compared with 762 during the same time last year.
BUT, on a Facebook post from the Olmsted County Sheriff's Department, law enforcement is seeing significant speeding violations, with 77 citations written during the time period mentioned above (normally it's about 22 citations). Last Tuesday, Sheriff Togerson told the Olmsted County board, "People are seeing the highways are more open and automatically think it's the new Minnesota Autobahn..."
And even tho there are fewer crashes overall, there's been an increase in fatal crashes. Again, from the DPS -
- 2020: 31 fatal crashes (35 deaths)
- 2019: 22 fatal crashes (24 deaths)
This is an awful number, and something we can 100% control if we all work together as a team and drive safe. Drive like the other cars on the road are being piloted by monkeys and not humans.
PERSONAL NOTE: People think I'm full of beans when I say we're safer with more narrow roads...but its psychological. This story is a pretty good demonstration of the idea that we feel safer when there's more room, so we take more chances. A more crowded road may seem more dangerous, but when it's crowded, we tend to be way more careful and aware. (James)
Listen to James Rabe and Jessica Williams 6a to 10a on Y-105 FM's Early Morning Show.