Wisconsin Public Radio

State Traffic Deaths Down in 2019

Wisconsin’s traffic fatalities have declined each year since 2016. Why?

By , Wisconsin Public Radio - Nov 29th, 2019 02:02 pm
Interstate 794 Off Ramp. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Interstate 794 Off Ramp. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

State transportation officials are hailing a drop in deaths on Wisconsin roads.

The latest figures from the state Department of Transportation show the 495 fatalities as of Nov. 17. That’s down from 521 at the same point in 2018.

The number of fatal crashes is also down. There were 463 as of Nov. 17, down from 467 through the same period in 2018.

Michael Schwendau with the state Bureau of Transportation Safety said the declines appear to show more drivers are taking safety seriously on the roads.

Drive are “not being distracted with their cellphones driving, buckling up, finding that sober ride home, whether they’re using a ride-sharing service or calling a friend … everybody’s doing their part, so it’s really starting to have some measurable effects on saving lives,” Schwendau said.

Wisconsin is part of a national trend of fewer traffic deaths.

But Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association, said the goal remains getting the total number of deaths on the roads to zero.

“We are seeing seat belt use up across the country,” Adkins said. “Seat belt use nationally is around 90 percent.”

But, he said, there’s “still work to do. Many of us don’t buckle our seat belts in the back seat. We don’t buckle our seat belts if we’re in an Uber or a Lyft.”

There were 576 fatalities on Wisconsin roads in all of 2018.

The annual number of traffic deaths in Wisconsin has dropped each year since 2016.

Wisconsin Seeing Fewer Traffic Deaths In 2019 was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

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