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Last month was the safest month of September in terms of traffic deaths since the end of WWII

October 3, 2013

Last month 46 people died in 45 traffic crashes on Wisconsin roadways, which made it the safest month of September in terms of traffic deaths since the end of World War II, according to preliminary statistics from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). The deadliest September was in 1973 with 116 fatalities.

Traffic fatalities last month were 33 fewer than in September 2012 and 12 fewer than the five-year average for the month of September.

As of September 30, a total of 396 people have died in Wisconsin traffic crashes this year, including 71 motorcycle operators, four motorcycle passengers, 29 pedestrians and nine bicyclists. Traffic deaths through September were 80 fewer than the same period in 2012, which is approximately a 17 percent reduction, and 37 fewer than the five-year average.

"Traffic fatalities so far this year are down significantly compared with the same period in 2012. A major factor in this decline is an approximately 26 percent reduction in motorcyclists' fatalities so far this year," says David Pabst, director of the WisDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety. "With the motorcycle riding season continuing through the fall, drivers must be aware of motorcycles and share the road to prevent crashes. Drivers frequently misjudge the speed and distance of an approaching motorcycle, so we are reminding drivers to look at least twice for motorcycles especially at intersections and while making turns or lane changes."

"For their part, motorcyclists must obey all traffic laws, such as speed limits, and never ride while impaired," Pabst says. "They should always wear protective and conspicuous clothing and gear, including a helmet that meets or exceeds US DOT standards. Tragically, 74 percent of the motorcyclists who died in crashes last year in Wisconsin were not wearing helmets. This time of year, motorcyclists should always be on the lookout for deer on roadways. Motorcycles were involved in 13 of the 14 fatal deer versus motor vehicle crashes in Wisconsin last year."

For more information, contact:
David Pabst, director of the Bureau of Transportation Safety
(608) 266-3048,  david.pabst@dot.wi.gov

 

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