A look at the driving data in Minnesota over the last year shows a concerning trend – a lot more people are making bad decisions behind the wheel than they were last year. And while the pandemic may have affected driving habits a bit last year, the data suggests that far too many people are engaging in risky driving behaviors on the road, and police are expected to continue cracking down on these behaviors in the last three months of the year.
Dangerous Driving A Problem In Minnesota
A look at the data suggests some dangerous trends, including:
- 16 deaths were attributed to distracted driving in Minnesota in August alone. That’s up from 10 during the same period last year.
- Traffic stops in Minnesota are up 15 percent overall this year.
- Alcohol-impaired driving arrests are up nearly 30 percent compared to last year.
“What we’re seeing in 2022 is the overall trend tentatively, thankfully, is fewer deaths on the road,” said State Patrol Chief Lt. Matt Langer said. “What’s causing those deaths is still open to a lot of interpretation and we know that distraction is absolutely part of it.”
Senator Amy Klobuchar also noted that federal Infrastructure law gives Minnesota incentives for cracking down on distracted drivers, which includes drivers using a cell phone without a hands-free device, so expect some extra crackdowns to be put in place as 2022 winds down.
“Together, we can change attitudes. We know we’ve done it with seat belts. We know we’ve done it with drinking and driving,” Klobuchar said. “And we can do even more.”
We’ve also noticed an uptick in the amount of calls we’ve been receiving regarding traffic incidents, and while the spike in arrests and citations is a bit of a concern, it is good to see so many people attempting to challenge these tickets or work to get them reduced in court. Distracted driving citations may not seem like a big deal, but when you factor in fines, possible enhancements for future violations and increased insurance premiums once word gets back to an automobile insurance provider, and these tickets can end up costing drivers thousands of dollars when all is said and done.
So while we can expect a few more crackdowns as the weather gets colder, know that it is always in your best interest to at least talk with an attorney to learn about your legal options. That’s why we offer free case reviews so that you can make an informed decision. If it’s beneficial for both sides to take your case to court, we’ll fight tooth and nail to help you beat the charges or avoid a worst case scenario.
If you or someone you know is facing a distracted driving or DWI arrest, pick up the phone and learn about your options by contacting Avery and the team at Appelman Law Firm today. For more information, or for help with a different legal issue, give our team a call today at (952) 224-2277.