Wisconsin traffic fatalities rise - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wisconsin traffic fatalities rise

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WAUSAU (AP) -

Traffic officials say this has been one of the deadliest years on Wisconsin roads in recent memory. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, there have been 464 deaths so far this year. The state averages around 439.

Wausau paramedic Jake Patnode said there are several factors that influence traffic safety. 

"It kind of all depends on the year and the weather," he said, adding that when the temperature rises, traffic crashes increase.

"Because it's drier, they think they can go faster or they push the limits a little bit more."

According the WisDOT, 62 people died on Wisconsin roads during the month of September. That's the most deaths recorded in one year since 2007, and there are still three months left this year.

"It is getting common this year that you're hearing about fatalities around Wisconsin at least," Patnode said.

He told Newsline 9 there are certain county roads and intersections where crashes are more likely to occur.

"When those posted speed limits drop that's where I've seen problems. They're posted as a lower speed limit for a reason," he said.

He added that decisions made before hitting the road, like wearing a seatbelt, can mean the difference between life and death.

According to the latest Wisconsin Department of Transportation report, many of this year's deaths resulted from car crashes, but deadly motorcycle crashes are also on the rise.

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