Breakdown of Minnesota Motor Vehicle Accident Statistics in 2023

July 25, 2023

Photo of Damaged Motorcycle

Driving on the roads with multiple people is a calculated risk that we take daily. When everyone does their part to obey the rules, avoid distractions, and drive patiently, everyone has a better chance of safely making it to their destinations. By understanding the motor vehicle accident as you understand the severity of hazardous driving and how it can affect everyone around you. 

The Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety implements traffic-law enforcement and public education programs to help reduce crashes, injuries, and deaths on Minnesota roadways by helping to improve driver behavior. The information they have put together, along with 2023 data of motor vehicle accidents, can help drivers better tackle the roads knowing where the biggest dangers lie and how they can prevent further accidents.

The Office of Traffic Safety in Minnesota compiles crash data to accurately detail what happens on Minnesota roadways. Through analysis of this crash data, law-enforcement and other officials can better address the safety issues occurring in Minnesota traffic by understanding where and why these crashes are occurring and how people are being impacted. Minnesota motor vehicle accidents can be decreased if every person does their part.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Minnesota, 1-800-Injured can connect you with an experienced St. Cloud car accident attorney ready to fight for your rights and help you receive the compensation you deserve.

Motor Vehicle Accident Statistics in Minnesota

Minnesota data for the first half of 2023 shows that fatal crashes continue to rise. The days from Memorial Day to Labor Day are called the “100 deadliest days” to be driving on Minnesota’s roadways. Preliminary data showed that 46 people lost their lives in car accidents during just the first 25 of the 100 days. This means Minnesota is seeing one of the deadliest summers on the road in over 10 years.

The preliminary monthly fatal crash numbers are staggering. Here is a look at the first half of 2023:

Fatal Crashes by The Month:

  • January: 15
  • February: 15
  • March: 17
  • April: 22
  • May: 35
  • June: 44
  • Year-to-date: 148

Fatalities by The Month:

  • January: 15
  • February: 17
  • March: 18
  • April: 24
  • May: 37
  • June: 52
  • Year-to-date: 163

Most Common Types of Car Accidents

  • Head-on collisions
  • Rear-end collisions
  • T-bone crashes
  • Multi-vehicle collisions
  • Single vehicle crashes
  • Rollover crashes
  • Merging car crashes

Minnesota car crash data signifies the need for an aggressive Minneapolis car accident lawyer to help you fight for the compensation you deserve if you have been involved in one of these serious car accident situations. 1-800-Injured can connect you with an established law firm with knowledgeable attorneys to assist with your case.

Accident Causes and Contributing Factors

Minnesota sees thousands of injuries every day due to motor vehicle accidents. Nationwide, millions die each year in traffic collisions. The top contributing factors for the 2023 Minnesota fatalities were speed, alcohol, unbelted drivers and passengers, and distracted driving.

The following include some of the most common causes of car accidents.

Distracted Driving

Use of cell phones, even if taking advantage of a hands-free device, can be a distraction for any driver. Checking email or texting while behind the wheel has become a treacherous habit despite the illegal use of wireless communication devices while driving in Minnesota.

Driving Under The Influence 

Year-to-date, 33 people have lost their lives to drunk driving accidents in Minnesota. Driving under the influence causes a driver to suffer decreased motor skills, poor judgment, impaired perception, and slower reflexes. Alcohol and drug use while behind the wheel leaves over 10,000 people dead each year and many more injured. 

Aggressive Driving

Excessive honking, frequent lane changes, not allowing other drivers to merge, and tailgating are hazardous driving habits that can cause motor vehicle collisions. Aggressive driving occurs more in urban areas where there is high traffic congestion, with many other aggressive drivers in the area.


Speeding, street racing, and running red lights cause severe traffic accidents. Speeding reduces the reaction time a driver has to a traffic situation and also increases the physical crash impact significantly in a car accident.

Driver Fatigue 

In the early hours of the day and late afternoon, fatigued driving can lead to auto accidents. Driving skills are affected by fatigue before the driver has felt any symptoms of being tired. Those who work overnight shifts are likely to experience driver fatigue, causing them to fall asleep behind the wheel due to irregular sleep patterns.

Weather Conditions 

From 2016 to 2020, there were 79,165 accidents reported while the roads were icy or snow-covered. Snow plows on the roads can be a danger for cars, and it is important to keep your distance when plows are doing their job. You should always clear ice and snow from your vehicle’s directional signals, brake lights, headlights, hood, and windows.

Distribution of Accidents by County

Minnesota saw 63,751 crashes in 2021, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. The top ten counties and their total crashes are as follows:

  1. Hennepin 17,098 total crashes
  2. Ramsey 7,310 total crashes
  3. Dakota 5,129 total crashes
  4. Anoka 3,538 total crashes
  5. Stearns 2,716 total crashes
  6. St. Louis 2,150 total crashes
  7. Washington 2,117 total crashes
  8. Olmsted 1,924 total crashes
  9. Wright 1,685 total crashes
  10. Scott 1,226 total crashes

Statistics show that the highest fatalities occurred in males aged 21 to 40. Of pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists, motorcyclists experienced the most fatalities in 2023, with a total of 25 deaths.  Minnesota police have been trying to crack down on excessive speeding on the roadways as speed continues to be the number one leading factor of fatalities in the state.

2021 Minnesota Crash Statistics

Standard-size cars made up the majority of vehicles involved in crashes, with 14,879 cars resulting in injuries, 39,132 cars receiving property damage, and 253 fatalities. 

Sport utility vehicles came in second with 9,153 vehicles resulting in injuries, 22,530 vehicles receiving property damage, and 147 fatalities.

The majority of crashes tend to occur on Fridays, with winter having an extensive amount of car accidents. 

Crash Statistics by The Month

The following outlines the months with their total crashes:

  • January: 4,425 crashes
  • February: 5,466 crashes
  • March: 4,220 crashes
  • April: 4,051 crashes
  • May: 5,073 crashes
  • June: 5,631 crashes
  • July: 5,291 crashes
  • August: 5,420 crashes
  • September: 5,450 crashes
  • October: 5,656 crashes
  • November: 5,202 crashes
  • December: 7,866 crashes

Crashes by Time of Day 

Not surprisingly, most crashes occur during peak driving times. Traffic volume is higher during the weekdays when people are out driving for activities, and more people are commuting to and from school and work, usually during rush hour (6-9 am and 3-6 pm). Minnesota tends to have less traffic on Saturdays and Sundays, resulting in fewer crashes. 

A car accident lawyer in Minnesota can help if you have experienced a crash under any of the above scenarios. 

Side By Side Comparison of 2021 to 2020 Crash Statistics

Reported traffic crashes

2021: 63,571

2020: 57,127

People Involved in Collisions

2021: 134,917

2020: 117,377

Motor Vehicles Involved in Accidents

2021: 115,554

2020: 101,914

Minnesota Economic Losses

2021: $2.03 billion 

2020: $1.6 billion 

Deaths and Injuries From Crashes

2021: deaths-488, injuries-24,083

2020: deaths-394, injuries-20,529

There has been great effort made to change the human behaviors that lead to car crashes, with Minnesota leading this movement. 

Education around distracted driving and impaired driving as well as implementing a hands-free law, is being used to minimize car crashes in Minnesota.

Bicyclist and pedestrian safety is incredibly important and education around walking or biking safely on roadways is available online.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,985 motorcyclists lost their lives nationwide in  2018. Motorcycle awareness and motorcycle training and safety are available through the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Child passenger laws have also been implemented to protect the smallest of passengers.

Despite these attempted changes, the crash numbers are steadily increasing, and Minnesota citizens face extreme challenges in reducing the severity and number of traffic crashes. Minnesota car crash deaths from 2020 to 2021 increased by 24%, with total crashes rising 12% from 2020 to 2021. Minnesota works to keep its roads as safe as possible while enhancing law-enforcement strategies, strengthened traffic safety laws, engineering and emergency trauma care and education and outreach to the citizens of Minnesota.

Each of these elements is part of Minnesota’s initiative Toward Zero Deaths (TZD), a multidisciplinary program used to address local level traffic issues.

A Minnesota Car Accident Attorney Can Help

1-800-Injured is a lawyer and medical directory connecting personal injury victims with law firms in their immediate area. We offer a free consultation for victims to speak with an experienced Minneapolis car accident lawyer regarding their specific case, the type of accident, and the severity of their injuries. Contact 1-800-Injured today so we can connect you with a Minneapolis car accident attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve.