Last month was the second safest month of August in terms of traffic deaths on Wisconsin roadways since the end of World War II.
Fifty-five people died in 46 traffic crashes in August, according to preliminary statistics from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. The safest month of August occurred in 2009 with 52 traffic fatalities, and the deadliest month of August was in 1969 with 154 fatalities—the single worst month in Wisconsin history.
Traffic fatalities last month were 14 fewer than August 2011 and 13 fewer than the five-year average for the month of August.
As of August 31, a total of 397 people have died in Wisconsin traffic crashes during 2011, including 67 motorcycle drivers, 10 motorcycle passengers, 26 pedestrians and seven bicyclists.
Despite the moderation in fatalities last month, traffic deaths at the end of August were still 39 more than during the same period in 2011 and four more than the five-year average.
"Traffic fatalities so far this year have increased about 11 percent over the same time last year in large part because of a significant increase in motorcyclists' deaths. As of August 31, a total of 77 motorcyclists have been killed in crashes in 2012, which is approaching the 85 motorcyclists' fatalities in all of 2011," says State Patrol Major Sandra Huxtable, director of the Bureau of Transportation Safety. "Most of Wisconsin had an unusually warm and dry spring and summer, which generated more motorcyclists on the road and increased the potential for crashes. And if we have typical fall weather, the motorcycle riding season will continue for a few more months. To prevent crashes, motorists need to share the road and watch for motorcycles in traffic, especially at intersections and while making turns or lane changes. For their part, motorcyclists need to ride sober, obey speed limits and maintain control by riding within the limits of their abilities."
Enter Zip Code for Custom Weather