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May traffic crashes claim 45 lives in Wisconsin

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DOT: Second safest May since World War II, but traffic deaths so far this year still outpace the five-year average

Preliminary data from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) shows 45 people died in Wisconsin traffic crashes last month making it the second safest month of May since the end of World War II. The deadliest May occurred in 1968 with 123 fatalities, and the safest was in 2013 with 32.

Traffic fatalities last month were 10 fewer compared to May of last year, and three less than the five-year average for May. Preliminary figures indicate 11 people died in traffic crashes over the recent Memorial Day weekend – compared to 10 during last year’s three-day holiday period.

Over the first five months of this year, 203 people died in Wisconsin traffic-related crashes including 27 pedestrians and 13 motorcycle drivers. Through the end of May, traffic deaths were 13 fewer compared to the same period last year but 13 above the five-year average.

“Every traffic-related death is a tragedy and virtually all are preventable,” said David Pabst, Director of WisDOT’s Bureau of Transportation Safety. “Nationally, at least 90 percent of traffic crashes are the result of motorists making bad decisions or practicing dangerous driving behaviors. As we enter the heavily-traveled summer months when traffic crashes, injuries and deaths typically increase, we’re asking all motorists to slow down, buckle up, eliminate distractions, drive sober and alert.”

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