Traffic fatality rate low for October

Last month, 44 people died in traffic crashes on Wisconsin roadways, which made it the third safest month of October in terms of traffic deaths since the end of World War II, according to preliminary statistics from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT). The safest month of October since World War II occurred in 2009 with 39 traffic deaths, and the deadliest October was in 1971 with 127 fatalities.

Traffic fatalities last month were two more than in October 2014 and eight fewer than the five-year average for the month of October.

As of October 31, a total of 471 people have died in Wisconsin traffic crashes this year, including 75 motorcycle operators, four motorcycle passengers, 48 pedestrians and 13 bicyclists. Traffic deaths through October were 65 more than the same period in 2014 and six more than the five-year average.

As winter approaches, motorists will need to become acclimated to driving under adverse weather conditions, advises David Pabst, director of the DOT Bureau of Transportation Safety.

“It won’t be long before we’ll be hit with ice, snow, and limited visibility on roadways. To prevent crashes, drivers will need to slow down and pay attention when weather and road conditions deteriorate. And to protect themselves, they need to buckle up,” Pabst says. “This also is a time of year when daylight dwindles and deer are prone to dart onto roadways, so drivers need to be especially cautious and alert.”

More winter driving tips are available online at Pages/safety/education/winter-drv/driving-tips.aspx.

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