Final crash data from 2012 shows a slight increase in fatalities for the first time since 2007, the state Department of Public Safety announced Tuesday.
Officials said a mild winter and spike in motorcyclist deaths, as well as a slight increase in miles traveled, contributed to the overall increase in traffic deaths from 368 in 2011 to 395 in 2012.
Even with the increase, the total is the second-lowest number of deaths since 1944.
"The big picture shows we've made great progress in the past decade, but the increase in deaths in 2012 is troubling," Department of Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman said in a news release.
Below are a few other facts from this year's report, which is available here:
• Bicyclist deaths up: As previously reported, there were seven bicyclist deaths in 2012 compared to five in 2011
• Crash rate stays low compared to nation: Minnesota had 0.69 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, compared to the national rate of 1.09.
• Fatal and injury crashes down: Although fatalities rose, the total number of fatal and injury crashes declined from 21,996 in 2011 to 28,648 in 2012.
• Motorcycle deaths up: There were 55 rider deaths in 2012, up from 42 in 2011. Officials say motorcycle ridership is at an all-time high.