For the fourth consecutive year, Wisconsin in 2011 had fewer than 600 traffic deaths. The last time the state had fewer than 600 traffic fatalities for four years in a row was 84-years ago – from 1924 to 1927. Major Sandra Huxtable, director of the Bureau of Transportation Safety, notes the number of vehicles and the miles traveled were minuscule compared to today. Wisconsin ended 2011 with 569 traffic deaths, which is seven more than 2010 but 59 fewer than the previous five-year average, according to preliminary statistics from the Department of Transportation.
Huxtable says while the economic downturn and high gas prices had an effect on traffic volumes, most fatal crashes are caused by bad driving habits and irresponsible decisions, so drivers who slow down, pay attention, buckle up and drive sober deserve a lot of credit for saving lives.
Fatalities for bicyclists and pedestrians also increased slightly in 2011 compared with 2010, but there was an approximately 18 percent reduction in motorcyclist deaths,from 104 in 2010 to 85 in 2011.