WISCONSIN, (WEAU) -- Last month was the fourth safest month of August in terms of traffic deaths on Wisconsin roadways since the end of World War II. Sixty-three people died in 61 traffic crashes in August, according to preliminary statistics from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). The safest month of August occurred in 2009 with 52 traffic fatalities, and the deadliest month of August was in 1969 with 154 fatalities — the single worst month in Wisconsin history.
Traffic fatalities last month were five more than August 2012 but three fewer than the five-year average for the month of August.
During the Labor Day weekend period from Friday evening, August 30, to midnight on Monday, September 2, eight people died in eight crashes including four motorcycle drivers. There were no fatal motorcycle crashes in Milwaukee County during the Harley-Davidson 110th anniversary celebration from August 29 to September 1. Last year, 10 people died in 10 crashes over the Labor Day holiday weekend.
As of August 31, a total of 348 people have been killed in Wisconsin traffic crashes during 2013, including 60 motorcycle drivers, three motorcycle passengers, 24 pedestrians and nine bicyclists. Traffic deaths at the end of August were 49 fewer than during the same period in 2012 and 27 fewer than the five-year average.
“Governor Scott Walker has proclaimed September as ‘Don’t Text and Drive’ Awareness Month in Wisconsin,” says State Patrol Major Sandra Huxtable, director of the Bureau of Transportation Safety. “Although texting while driving is illegal in Wisconsin, some people continue to disregard the law and common sense. If you text while driving, your hands are not on the steering wheel, your eyes are not on the road, and your mental focus is not on the traffic and road conditions around you. Without a doubt, texting while driving will increase your risk of causing a crash or failing to avoid one. It simply is not worth it to put yourself, your passengers, and everyone else on the road in grave danger for a text message.”