While the State of Wisconsin had 569 traffic-related death in 2011, Waukesha closed out the year with zero traffic fatalities, according to officials with the
It’s the in a row that the City of Waukesha has had zero deaths from car crashes. The last fatal car accident was in March 2009, according to authorities.
However, Waukesha County had 17 traffic fatalities in 2011, up two from the 15 deaths that occurred in 2010. That figure is down, though, from previous years. There were 24 traffic fatalities in Waukesha County in 2009, 27 in 2008 and 31 in 2007.
Overall, Wisconsin’s 569 traffic deaths increased by seven compared to 2010. That number is 59 fewer than the previous five-year average, according to a news release from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
"We are encouraged that traffic fatalities in Wisconsin are at levels not experienced since the 1920s when the number of vehicles and the miles traveled were miniscule compared to today," said State Patrol Major Sandra Huxtable, director of the Bureau of Transportation Safety. "There is no single factor that caused a reduction of this magnitude during the last four years. Certainly, the economic downturn and high gas prices had an effect on traffic volumes. But most fatal crashes are caused by bad driving habits and irresponsible decisions.
“Therefore, motorists who slow down, pay attention, buckle up and drive sober deserve a great deal of credit for saving their own lives and the lives of others. Nevertheless, because most traffic deaths are preventable, more than 500 annual fatalities are still far too many."
Traffic deaths among drivers and passengers increased from 395 in 2010 to 410 in 2011, which was approximately a 4 percent increase, the release states. Fatalities for bicyclists and pedestrians also increased slightly in 2011 compared with 2010.
Motorcycle deaths were reduced from 104 in 2010 to 85 in 2011, according to the release.
"We must always remember that 569 people died in crashes last year, and many of those deaths could have been prevented,” Huxtable said in the release. “It is the responsibility of all of us who use our highways, local roads and streets to do everything we can to make travel as safe as possible to reach zero preventable deaths in Wisconsin."