62 people died in traffic crashes last month
A total of 62 people were killed in traffic crashes last month, according to preliminary statistics from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). Traffic fatalities last month were 13 more than November 2015 and 14 more than the five-year average for the month of November.
Five people died in crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday period from 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23, to midnight on Sunday, Nov. 27. Last year, four people died in crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday period.
As of the end of November, 550 people have died in Wisconsin traffic crashes this year, including 80 motorcycle operators, six motorcycle passengers, 45 pedestrians and 11 bicyclists. Traffic deaths through November were 33 more than during the same period in 2015 and 40 more than the five-year average.
“November was tied with July as the deadliest month on Wisconsin roads so far in 2016. The weather in November was unseasonably mild in most areas of the state, which likely led to more vehicles on the road traveling at higher speeds. This may have contributed to the spike in fatalities last month,” says David Pabst, director of the WisDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety. “However, regardless of weather conditions, about 90 percent of traffic crashes are caused by unsafe behavior and irresponsible decisions by drivers. For a safe holiday season, we urge everyone to slow down, buckle up, pay attention and drive sober.”
To save lives and prevent injuries during the holidays, law enforcement agencies will be on the lookout for drunken drivers during the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign from Dec. 15 to Jan. 1.
“Drunken driving is entirely preventable, and we’re striving to attain zero preventable traffic deaths in Wisconsin,” Pabst says. “There’s no better time of year to make progress toward that goal than during the holiday season.”