There have been some alarming statistics recently surrounding Wisconsin car crash and motorcycle crash deaths. At one point in March traffic was estimated to be down almost 40%. Since March, the traffic levels seem to have been increasing.
Even though there were significantly fewer cars on the road, traffic fatalities actually increased over the same time period from 2019 to 2020. Through the first seven months of 2020, 433 people died in Wisconsin motor vehicle crashes, compared to 414 people during the same period in 2019. Speeding, distracted driving, and failure to wear seat belts are the primary factors for the increase in fatalities, according to David Pabst of the Wisconsin DOT.
“During the first six months of 2020, there were more than 56,000 convictions for speeding – ranging from 1 to 10 mph over the limit to driving 20 or more mph over the limit, according to DOT records. That doesn’t reflect the number of speeders who weren’t caught.
Pabst said he observed that a number of motorists were driving at ridiculously high speeds when roads were lightly traveled.
“I’ve noticed people driving extremely fast. It’s really concerning,” he said, adding that some of them “tend to take risks and drive impaired.”
“(Speeding) is a constant problem. I wish people would slow down and pay attention to what they’re doing. As speed increases, the likelihood of crashes also rises.”
Pabst said it is estimated that speeding accounts for one-third of fatalities in Wisconsin. With the uptick in speeds, which he described as a problem throughout the country, crashes are becoming more violent, he said.”
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Top 10 traffic convictions in Wisconsin
2019 (first six months)
2020 (first six months)
Source: Wisconsin Department of Transportation