DOT: 79 killed in traffic crashes during month of September

WISCONSIN -- Wisconsin Department of Transportation officials say traffic crashes killed 79 people in September 2012 -- 30 more than in September of 2011, and 20 more than the five-year average for the month of September.

In terms of traffic deaths, the safest month of September since World War II occurred in 2011 with 49 fatalities, and the deadliest was in 1973 with 116 fatalities -- according to the Wisconsin DOT.

As of September 30th, 2012, a total of 480 people have died in Wisconsin traffic crashes in 2012, including 85 motorcycle drivers, 13 motorcycle passengers, 32 pedestrians and seven bicyclists.

Traffic deaths through September were 73 more than during the same period in 2011 and 28 more than the five-year average.

“This September had the highest number of traffic fatalities for the month of September since 2007 when 82 people died in crashes. All over the Midwest, we are seeing a significant increase in traffic fatalities, and it is a cause for grave concern," Wisconsin State Patrol Major Sandra Huxtable said.