Chart of the Day: Minnesota Freeway Fatalities over Time

In today’s Minneapolis Star and Tribune you’ll find a story about the near-record low in freeway traffic fatalities in Minnesota in 2014. Here’s the pertinent chart:


Note that the article also states that “the number of pedestrian fatalities also fell to a 30-year low of 17. The preliminary numbers show that five bicyclists and 45 motorcyclists were killed, also down from the previous year.”

Via Twitter, our own writer (and podcast guest) Alex Cecchini had a few thoughts on this trend:

  1. We invoke safety a lot (with good reason), but man MN is statistically so much better than other states & yet, at 66 deaths/million residents, we’re still worse than most of Europe

3 thoughts on “Chart of the Day: Minnesota Freeway Fatalities over Time

  1. Evan RobertsEvan

    Nitpicking, but I have a real point (that’s what they all say). This is all traffic deaths, not deaths on freeways.

    Freeways, I think it has been proven, reduce the incidence of traffic fatalities by markedly lowering the chances of head-on collisions.

    Highly likely that a disproportionate number of these deaths come on stroads and other non-directionally-separated roads (including outstate highways).

  2. Janne

    I love how you can read history in this graph. The dip in the 40s was gas rationing. The smaller dip in the 70s was the oil crisis. The big downward trend began when people started wearing the seat belts that were required a few years earlier. The current dip is… #millenials?

    1. Nathanael

      Elimination of leaded gasoline? Remember, for decades, due to leaded gasoline poisoining, drivers and everyone around them were brain-damaged and had impaired judgement, increased impulsivity, etc…

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