The last two months in Wisconsin have seen traffic fatalities at their lowest in more than 60 years. There's no definitive link with higher gas prices, but traffic deaths in Wisconsin are down. Last month, 48 people died in 45 Wisconsin traffic crashes, which made it the third safest month of October in terms of traffic deaths since World War II, according to preliminary numbers from the state Department of Transportation. Traffic fatalities in October also were 18 fewer than in October of last year, and lower than the five-year average for the month.
The DOT's chief of safety programs says if the trend continues, Wisconsin could end the year with the lowest number of traffic deaths in several decades. But, Dennis Hughes says that won't be easy or automatic: drivers will need to get acclimated to winter driving and will face congested highways around Thanksgiving and the deer hunting gun season. To continue the downward trend in traffic fatalities, motorists must make responsible decisions, such as not driving too fast for road or traffic conditions and not driving while impaired.
As of the end of October, 502 people have died in 462 Wisconsin traffic crashes, including 76 motorcycle drivers, nine motorcycle passengers, 42 pedestrians and nine bicyclists. Traffic deaths through October are down 134-about a 22 percent reduction compared with the same period in 2007 and down 149 compared with the five-year average.