Traffic deaths are on the rise in Wisconsin. Maj. Sandra Huxtable of the Wisconsin State Patrol says there have been 478 deaths reported so far this year. That's 71 more than in the first nine months of last year. She says that's a substantial uptick for the state, “The last four years we’ve been under 600 deaths. And that was, and that’s been the best we’ve been since the mid 1920’s. If we continue on the trend that we’re on, we’re going to, my fear is that we’ll be in excess of the 600.”
As a percentage, Wisconsin's increase is the highest of any Midwest state. Huxtable says not only is the state patrol documenting more fatalities per accident than normal, but it is also seeing more deaths from motorcycle accidents.
The state is citing a decrease in seatbelt usage and the longer riding season motorcyclists enjoyed this year because of the weather as the reason for the deaths.