Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Roadway Fatalities

About the measures

Safety on the roadways is MnDOT’s priority. Measuring traffic fatalities helps MnDOT plan for safer roadway conditions. The number of annual fatalities counted are results of crashes by motor vehicles.

Recent trends

In 2022, 444 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes on Minnesota roads, which was a slight decrease from 2021 but still the second highest total in the previous five years and the second highest since 2007 when there were 510.

Where we want to go

The 2020-2024 Minnesota Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) set a target of no more than 225 roadway fatalities annually by 2025. The plan and performance targets are updated every five years to reflect current and emerging crash trends and incorporate new safety strategies. MnDOT seeks to eliminate fatalities and injuries for transportation users on Minnesota roadways through several strategies. The SHSP sets overall direction for future safety strategies and presents a framework for selecting strategies. Through the State Aid programs, MnDOT partners with local government units (e.g., cities and counties) to fund and develop road safety initiatives and plans. For roadway design, MnDOT incorporates a Safe System Approach that builds multiple layers of protection to prevent crashes from happening and minimize harm to people involved in crashes when they occur. Additionally, MnDOT provides traffic engineering training courses to county, city, and private professionals on a variety of road safety topics including lighting design, pavement markings, and work zone traffic engineering.

Minnesota Towards Zero Deaths (TZD) is a key traffic safety program that uses an interdisciplinary approach to reducing roadway deaths and serious injuries. According to the crash data collected by DPS, the top four contributing factors in traffic fatalities are speeding, unbuckled motorists, impaired driving, and distracted driving with frequency of speeding and unbuckled motorists increasing in recent years. Through TZD, MnDOT works with DPS and the Minnesota Department of Health to identify and improve locations at risk for the types of crashes most likely to result in death or serious injury, ensure compliance with traffic laws, educate drivers about the risks of behaviors like not wearing seat belts and drinking alcohol and driving, and respond to crashes quickly with emergency medical and trauma services.

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