WisDOT: Traffic deaths in January were the second lowest since World War II

MILWAUKEE -- Last month 28 people died in Wisconsin traffic crashes, which made it the second safest month of January in terms of traffic fatalities since World War II, according to preliminary statistics from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT).

The safest month of January was in 2010 with 20 fatalities. January 2010 also had the lowest number of traffic deaths of any month since fatality records were first compiled in 1937. The deadliest January was in 1964 with 82 fatalities.

Traffic fatalities last month were eight fewer than January 2015 and 11 fewer than the five-year average for the month of January. So far this year, 21 drivers, six passengers and one pedestrian have died in crashes.

"To help prevent fatal and serious injury crashes, drivers must pay strict attention to traffic and road conditions," says David Pabst, director of the WisDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety. "If you use a cell phone, eat a meal, or search for items inside your vehicle while driving, you’re increasing your risk of a crash. Eliminating distractions while driving is even more critical this time of year when snow, ice, sleet, fog and other inclement weather reduces your visibility and your vehicle’s traction.  If you don’t pay attention to your driving, you’re much more likely to cause a crash or fail to avoid one."