ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) — Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day proved to be a tragic time for many, as more than half of the Minnesota’s 2019 traffic fatalities occurred during that period.
According to a report released by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, 132 people lost their lives in traffic incidents on Minnesota roads this summer, including a two-car crash that took six lives. This represents 57 percent of all traffic fatalities so far this year, Minnesota DPS said.
Ten of the deaths were reportedly distraction-related, compared to 9 in 2018.
A new hands-free law went into effect in Minnesota on Aug. 1, making it illegal to drive while holding a phone.
Public Safety also said of the 33 motorcyclists who died in 2019, 22 were not wearing a helmet, compared with 30 of the 43 last year.
Additionally, the department reported that 22 of the drivers were not wearing their seat belts, compared with 18 in 2018.
The report adds that 27 of the deaths were speed-related and 32 were alcohol-related.
Some of the measures they recommend that drivers take to prevent further traffic fatalities is to ensure that drivers and passengers have buckled their seat belts, drive at a safe speed, pay attention for motorcyclists and other vehicles and never drive while intoxicated.