Minnesota by the numbers: Our not-so-deadly roads
It may well be that such measures would improve highway safety in Minnesota. But the Advocates' report fails to note one significant fact: statistically speaking, Minnesota roads are pretty darn safe.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 1.18 fatalities per 100,000,000 vehicles miles traveled in Minnesota, far below the national average of 1.48. Additionally, Minnesota motorists fared much better than their neighbors in Wisconsin (1.42 deaths per 100,000,000 miles), Iowa (1.42), North Dakota (1.41) and--watch out for Bill Janklow!--South Dakota (2.38).
Those are all 2003 numbers, which was the last year for which such statistics are available. Since then, however, Minnesota roads seem to have become less hazardous. In 2003, there were a total of 655 roadway deaths in the state, compared to 567 in 2004 and 542 in 2005.
What to conclude? Our laws might be lacking, but our drivers and roads are above average. Just like the children of Lake Wobegone.