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One year ago: deadliest day on state roads

On February 20, 2012, eight people were killed on Minnesota roads, making it the deadliest day of the year. Among those killed were four female North Dakota State University students who crashed on I-94 near Alexandria.

According to the preliminary fatal crash reports, there were 384 traffic deaths in 2012, up from 368 in 2011. Last year was the second time since 1944 the state has recorded fewer than 400 deaths.

The 2012 deadliest days were:

• February 20 - 8

• May 30 - 6

• November 6 - 6

• March 3 - 5

• June 23 - 5

• December 27 - 5

• Days with four deaths: February 10; July 16; August 17; September 1, 6, 11, 14, 16; October 14 and December 14.

The longest streak of days in which there was at least one road death was 16 days (July 20-August 4), while the longest streak of days in which there were zero deaths was only four days (January 15-18, February 5-8 and June 10-13).

There were 136 days with zero traffic deaths.

According to Department of Public Safety director of Office of Traffic Safety Donna Berger, crashes are caused by driver error and can be prevented by buckling up, driving at safe speeds, paying attention and planning ahead for a sober ride to avoid driving impaired.

In the past 20 years, there have been eight days with 10 or more deaths.

The DPS memorial website provides a dramatic representation of the lives lost on the state roads. The site allows crash victims' families to present a meaningful remembrance of a loved one, while the primary goal is to educate about traffic safety.