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Traffic crashes in March killed 33 people in Wisconsin

April 3, 2014

A total of 33 people died in 30 traffic crashes in Wisconsin last month, which was two fewer fatalities than March 2013 and four more than the five-year average for the month of March, according to preliminary statistics from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT).

In terms of traffic deaths, last month was tied for the sixth safest month of March since the end of World War II when the modern highway transportation system was born. The safest month of March occurred in 2010 with 23 fatalities, and the deadliest month of March was in 1970 with 99 fatalities.

As of March 31, a total of 89 people have died in Wisconsin traffic crashes during 2014 including 14 pedestrians. Traffic deaths through the end of March were 15 fewer than during the same period in 2013 and six fewer than the five-year average.

In coming months, drivers will routinely encounter orange barrels, cones and signs designating work zones for road construction and maintenance. Last year, there were nearly 1,600 work zone crashes in Wisconsin that caused nine deaths and 624 injuries, according to WisDOT statistics.

"Workers and equipment must operate within a few feet of traffic in work zones. Although workers are exposed to great danger, approximately three out of four people killed in work zone crashes are motorists," says David Pabst, director of the WisDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety. "Work zone crashes are caused primarily by drivers who speed, tailgate, and don’t pay attention to rapidly changing road and traffic conditions. Rear-end collisions are the most frequent type of crash in a work zone. Because of the risks to drivers, passengers and workers, traffic fines are double in work zones."

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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