Though the final numbers aren't in yet, the Department of Public Safety estimates that 370 people lost their lives on Minnesota roads last year. That's the second lowest number since 1944, when 356 died in automobile crashes and American soldiers stormed the beaches of Normandy.
The number of Minnesota road fatalities from 2013 to last year dipped from 387 to 370. That follows a clear trend apparent in the numbers going back to 2003.
Here are the year-by-year crash deaths since then:
2014 - 370 (preliminary)
2013 - 387
2012 - 395
2011 - 368
2010 - 421
2009 - 421
2008 - 455
2007 - 510
2006 - 494
2005 - 559
2004 - 567
2003 - 655
Last year also saw a decline in the number of pedestrian deaths from 71 in 1986 to 17. That's the lowest number since 1984.
Furthermore, drunk driving-related fatalities were down, to 81 last year from 196 in 2003.
The DPS notes that lack of seatbelt use remains a significant problem, as about half the motorists killed in Minnesota aren't buckled up.
Perhaps counterintuitively, the deadliest months on Minnesota roads last year were August (43), July (40), and September (37), while the safest were the winter months of March (19), February (20), and January (28).
While last year saw more steps in a positive direction, Donnie Berger, director of the Office of Traffic Safety, says more work remains to be done if Minnesota is to realize its "Toward Zero Deaths" goal.
"The pain and suffering of even one family is too much," she says.