2013 had fewest traffic deaths since 1944

DOT: Traffic deaths went down 12 percent from 2012
2013 had fewest traffic deaths since 1944

Despite some treacherous road conditions, Wisconsin ended 2013 with the fewest deaths on roadways since 1944, according to a release.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation released a preliminary report Thursday that said 527 people died on Wisconsin roadways in 2013.

Traffic deaths were also down 74, or 12 percent, from 2012, which is 44 fewer than the state’s five-year average, according to the release.

“There’s no single factor we can identify as the main reason for such a significant reduction in traffic fatalities,” WisDOT Secretary Mark Gottlieb said in the release. “We know that the vast majority of serious crashes are caused by bad driving habits and irresponsible decisions. Therefore, motorists deserve a great deal of credit for saving their own lives and lives of others by slowing down, paying attention, buckling up and driving sober.”

Gottlieb said WisDOT and its partners also continue to invest funding and resources to improve traffic safety enforcement, education and engineering to help prevent fatalities.

According to the release, traffic fatalities went down last year in every category, including motorcyclists and pedestrians.