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2021: First 50 of the 100 Most-Traveled Days Highlight Ongoing Traffic Safety Crisis


During the first 50 of the 100 most-traveled days of the year (Memorial Day-Labor Day), preliminary reports show 76 people have died on Minnesota roads.

  • The 76 traffic fatalities during the first 50 days are the most since at least 2017.

  • Of the 76 fatalities, preliminary reports show:

  • 21 are speed-related.

  • 12 unbelted motorists were killed in traffic crashes.

  • Two were distracted driving-related fatalities.

  • 15 were alcohol-related fatalities.

The initial summer travel fatality figures demonstrate an ongoing traffic safety crisis. Preliminary numbers by the Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety show 229 fatalities on Minnesota roads in 2021 compared with 169 this time last year.

  • The 229 deaths is a 36 percent increase over last year.

Recent fatalities include:

  • A 23-year-old unbelted man driving in Nicollet County died from his injuries when his car hit a truck with a trailer.

  • A 44-year-old male driver died from his injuries when he crossed the center line on a highway in Meeker Co and struck an oncoming semi.

  • A 45-year-old motorcyclist who was not wearing a helmet and was traveling at a high rate of speed in Brooklyn Park was killed when he ran off the road and hit a traffic signal.

  • An 81-year-old woman was killed when a 33-year-old male driver fleeing police in Oakdale ran into the woman’s vehicle. The pursuit had been called off prior to the crash.

“I’m running out of words to describe what is taking place on our roads right now,” said Mike Hanson, Office of Traffic Safety director. “The lack of responsibility some are taking behind the wheel is causing a death toll on our roads that’s hard to comprehend. It’s time for all of us to look in the mirror. It’s time for all of us to take responsibility for our actions. It’s time for all of us to drive smart, slow down, be kind on the road and help everyone get home safely at the end of the day.”