September was a bad month on Wisconsin roads, and deaths on state roads continue to trend higher than in recent years. Traffic crashes killed 79 people in Wisconsin last month. Fatalities last month were 30 more than in September 2011 and 20 more than the five-year average for the month, according to preliminary statistics from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Last September was the safest on Wisconsin roads since World War II, with 49 fatalities, and the deadliest was in 1973 with 116 fatalities.
“All over the Midwest, we are seeing a significant increase in traffic fatalities, and it is a cause for grave concern. In Wisconsin, motorcyclist fatalities are increasing, and many of the motorcyclists who have been killed or injured were not wearing protective helmets,” said State Patrol Major Sandra Huxtable, director of the Bureau of Transportation Safety. “There also are indications that more drivers and passenger are being ejected from their vehicles in crashes, causing serious injuries or death. Buckling up is the single most effective way to protect you and your passengers from being ejected from a vehicle or thrown around violently inside it during a crash and perhaps striking another person. We all need to do our part to reduce preventable traffic deaths.”
As of September 30, a total of 480 people have died in Wisconsin traffic crashes in 2012, including 85 motorcycle drivers, 13 motorcycle passengers, 32 pedestrians and seven bicyclists. Traffic deaths through September were 73 more than during the same period in 2011 and 28 more than the five-year average.