46 people die in Wisconsin traffic crashes in January

In January, 46 people died in 43 Wisconsin traffic crashes, according to preliminary statistics from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.


Traffic fatalities for January were seven fewer than January 2007 when 53 people died in 44 Wisconsin traffic crashes and 13 fewer than the five-year average of 59 fatalities in 52 crashes for the month of January.


In terms of traffic deaths, the safest month of January since World War II occurred in 1982 with 31 fatalities. The deadliest month of January was in 1964 with 82 traffic deaths.


Because traffic and road conditions can be unpredictable this time of year, drivers need to eliminate distractions and pay strict attention while behind the wheel to prevent fatal and serious injury crashes.


“If you use a cell phone, eat a meal, read a map or rummage for things on the floor or the dashboard while driving, you’re increasing your chances of causing a crash or failing to avoid one,” says Dennis Hughes, chief of safety programs for the Wisconsin State Patrol Bureau of Transportation Safety. “Eliminating distractions while driving is especially important during winter months when snow, fog and other types of inclement weather can severely reduce your visibility and reaction time as well as your vehicle’s traction and stopping