Traffic fatalities increased in Minnesota in 2018

An estimated 380 people died in motor vehicle crashes in Minnesota in 2018 — 22 more than the previous year, according to preliminary data out Wednesday from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS).

Alcohol was the leading cause cited in those crashes, factoring into the deaths of 121 people. The other leading causes of deadly crashes were speeding, motorists not wearing seat belts and distracted driving, the DPS said.

The numbers show that Minnesotans need to make a concerted effort to make safe driving choices when getting behind the wheel, said Mike Hanson, director of the agency’s Office of Traffic Safety.