While we are just in the midst of completing the first quarter of 2017, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation-Division of Motor Vehicles (WisDOT-DMV) has released preliminary data on fatal traffic crashes for 2016 and year-to-date 2017. So far this year, the number of fatal crashes is significantly down from this time in 2016. In 2017, we have seen 70 fatal traffic crashes, as compared to 91 fatal traffic crashes this time last year. Similarly, there have been 79 fatalities to date in 2017, as opposed to 102 fatalities during the same time period in 2016. As Wisconsin traffic fatalities increased by some six percent in 2016, the hope is that 2017 trends continue and result in a smaller number of traffic fatalities for the year. More specifically, there were 588 traffic fatalities in 2016, which was 33 more than 2015 and 40 more than the previous five-year average.
Over the last four years, from 2012 to 2016, year-to-date, there have been an average of 72 fatal crashes so far and an average of 81 fatalities. The vast majority of fatalities so far, both in 2016 (63) and 2017 (53) have been drivers. The next most common type of fatality was passengers, with the remaining fatalities consisting of bicyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians.
Trends also continue with the number of fatal traffic accidents among the different Wisconsin counties. Thus far in 2017, the highest number of fatal traffic accidents occurred in Milwaukee County, as was the case in each of the previous four years. This is not uncommon due to the more urban nature of that county, as opposed to more rural areas.
As this post illustrates, there are still far too many deaths attributable to motor vehicle accidents throughout the United States, some of which are due to increased speed limits. Boller & Vaughan are Wisconsin motor vehicle accident lawyers who dedicate their practice to protecting the interests of individuals who have been fatally injured in traffic crashes, as well as their surviving family members. Call our office today to set up your free consultation and learn what options are available to you.