January 2015 marks record low for Minnesota traffic deaths

January 2015 marked the lowest number of fatalities on Minnesota roads in more than 30 years, the Department of Public Safety said.

"While it is important to highlight the decline in traffic deaths across Minnesota, we must not forget that statistics equal real people and at least nine families said good-bye to loved ones in January," Donna Berger, Office of Traffic Safety director, said.

According to preliminary numbers, 9 people losing their lives this month is a record low. To compare (numbers provided from DPS):

Lowest monthly fatalities to date (1984-2015)

January 2015- 9 (Preliminary as of Feb. 5)

January 2011- 15

January 2013- 16

January 1991- 16

"The vast majority of crashes are preventable," Lt. Tiffani Nielson, Minnesota State Patrol, said. "We encourage all motorists to drive to the conditions of the road, wear your seat belt, pay attention and never drink and drive."

According to the DPS, road fatality contributing factors in Minnesota are speed (1 in 5 deaths), drunk driving (1 in 5 deaths), distracted driving (1 in 4 deaths), and lack of seat belt use, which accounts for about half of the motorists killed.

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