MADISON - With 69 traffic fatalities, August was the deadliest month on Wisconsin roads so far this year.
The second highest traffic fatalities month in 2014 was June with 50 traffic deaths.
Traffic fatalities last month also were four more than August 2013 and seven more than the five-year average for the month of August, according to preliminary statistics from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT).
During the Labor Day holiday period, six people died in crashes compared with 10 deaths last year.
"In the last five years, August on average has been the worst month for traffic fatalities. Moreover, August 1969 remains the all-time deadliest month on Wisconsin roads with 154 traffic fatalities," says David Pabst, director of the WisDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety. "Although traffic fatalities increased last month, overall they are still down significantly compared with the same period in 2013 and the five-year average."
As of August 31, a total of 320 people have died in Wisconsin traffic crashes in 2014, including 51 motorcycle drivers, five motorcycle passengers, 22 pedestrians and three bicyclists.
Traffic deaths through the end of August were 28 fewer than during the same period in 2013 and 44 fewer than the five-year average.
"In coming weeks, many motorcyclists will be on the road for fall rides around the state," Pabst says. "To prevent crashes, drivers need to share the road and watch for motorcycles especially at intersections and while making turns and lane changes. To protect themselves and other motorists, motorcyclists must obey all traffic laws, such as speed limits, and never ride while impaired. They should always wear protective and conspicuous clothing and gear, including a helmet that meets or exceeds US DOT standards. Tragically, nearly three out of four motorcyclists who died in crashes last year in Wisconsin were not wearing helmets."