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Officials: fewest fatalities in Wisconsin car wrecks since WWII

The last time there were so few deadly car accidents in Wisconsin, World War II had just ended. In fact, if trends from this year hold, the rate could be even better, at least for four-wheeled motorists.

The state Department of Transportation recently reported that the number of fatal car accidents in Wisconsin over the first six months of the year were down 5 percent from the same period in 2013. Last year, there were 527 deaths on the roads, the fewest since 1944, but the numbers are on pace to be significantly lower this year.

June was an especially safe month in Wisconsin. A total of 49 people were killed in auto accidents, which is certainly far too many. But it was the fewest fatalities for the month of June since 1946.

Unfortunately, the trend is going the other way when it comes to motorcyclist deaths. From January through June, 35 died in motorcycle crashes, 16 percent more than in the first half of 2013.

An official with the DOT said that many factors are causing the overall drop in deadly accidents. Among other things, he credited better roads, safer vehicles, and police crackdowns on drunk driving and speeding.

Someday, perhaps the possibility of dying in a car crash will be a thing of the past. Sadly, it seems that as long as people drive drunk, drive recklessly or otherwise act negligent behind the wheel, our lives will be at risk every time we are on the road, at least a little bit.

Source: Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, “Wisconsin traffic deaths still on decline after hitting 7-decade low,” Ashley Luthern, July 7, 2014

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