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Your Views: Drivers could have prevented most traffic deaths in 2013

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January 16, 2014

Wisconsin ended 2013 with 530 traffic fatalities, which is the lowest annual total in nearly 70 years.

This dramatic reduction was due to many factors, including effective traffic safety law enforcement, education, engineering of roadways and vehicles, and unusual weather patterns. Emergency medical responses at crash scenes also saved lives. Moreover, because most serious crashes are caused by bad driving habits and irresponsible decisions, motorists deserve much credit for saving their own lives and lives of others by buckling up, driving sober, slowing down and paying attention.

Overall, there were about 19,000 fewer traffic crashes in 2013 than in 2012. In addition to preventing injuries and deaths, this reduction saved Wisconsin about $237 million, based on National Safety Council estimates for the economic impact of traffic deaths, injuries and property damage.

Traffic safety is a fundamental priority for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. We’re encouraged—but not complacent—about the recent progress in preventing traffic deaths and injuries. We’re aware that traffic fatalities are more than just numbers and statistics. Each number was a person whose unexpected death was mourned by family and friends. And we know that most traffic deaths last year could have been prevented. That’s why we urge everyone to take simple but critical steps this year to stop these senseless tragedies. Please buckle up, drive sober, slow down and pay attention, so we can continue to make steady progress toward the goal of zero preventable traffic deaths in Wisconsin.

MARK GOTTLIEB

Secretary

Wisconsin Department of Transportation



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