Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Press Release

Traffic deaths in January were the second lowest since WWII

Last month 28 people died in Wisconsin traffic crashes

By - Feb 2nd, 2016 10:54 am

Last month 28 people died in Wisconsin traffic crashes, which made it the second safest month of January in terms of traffic fatalities since World War II, according to preliminary statistics from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT).

The safest month of January was in 2010 with 20 fatalities. January 2010 also had the lowest number of traffic deaths of any month since fatality records were first compiled in 1937. The deadliest January was in 1964 with 82 fatalities.

Traffic fatalities last month were eight fewer than January 2015 and 11 fewer than the five-year average for the month of January. So far this year, 21 drivers, six passengers and one pedestrian have died in crashes.

“To help prevent fatal and serious injury crashes, drivers must pay strict attention to traffic and road conditions,” says David Pabst, director of the WisDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety. “If you use a cell phone, eat a meal, or search for items inside your vehicle while driving, you’re increasing your risk of a crash. Eliminating distractions while driving is even more critical this time of year when snow, ice, sleet, fog and other inclement weather reduces your visibility and your vehicle’s traction.  If you don’t pay attention to your driving, you’re much more likely to cause a crash or fail to avoid one.”

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6 thoughts on “Traffic deaths in January were the second lowest since WWII”

  1. I wonder if this has anything to do with road deaths trending with the local economy?

  2. Tim says:

    I like how WISDOT takes no responsibility for the traffic deaths. “Hey, you crazy drivers out there need to be safe. In an unrelated matter, we’re cutting maintenance of roads & raising speed limits”

  3. AG says:

    Fatalities are going down, Tim. Are you saying less maintenance and higher interstate speeds are causing deaths to go down?

  4. Vincent Hanna says:

    How much did the relatively mild winter weather factor into this? For example in Milwaukee 19 days in January were at or above the average high temperature. We’ve only had 14 inches of snow since December 1 compared to an average of 26 inches. Granted things aren’t exactly the same statewide, but weather could still be a big factor.

  5. Tim says:

    AG, I was commenting on where WISDOT attributes the problem, as though they have no impact on this. VH, makes a good point about the weather. However, over decades traffic deaths have been dropping.

    Would WISDOT say that people are driving safer? I would put my money on better medical care & higher quality cars that don’t explode on impact.

    But hey, you’re the standard bearer for defending the status quo, tell us why WISDOT is doing a good job.

  6. Vincent Hanna says:

    My completely anecdotal evidence based mainly on 43 and 41 suggests people are not driving safer. More and more people seem to be doing 75 or 80+ after the speed limit increase, and every day it seems like more and more people talk/text and drive. Tim you sure know AG well.

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