The latest figures from the state Department of Transportation show the 495 fatalities as of Nov. 17. That’s down from 521 at the same point in 2018.
The number of fatal crashes is also down. There were 463 as of Nov. 17, down from 467 through the same period in 2018.
Michael Schwendau with the state Bureau of Transportation Safety said the declines appear to show more drivers are taking safety seriously on the roads.
Drive are “not being distracted with their cellphones driving, buckling up, finding that sober ride home, whether they’re using a ride-sharing service or calling a friend … everybody’s doing their part, so it’s really starting to have some measurable effects on saving lives,” Schwendau said.
Wisconsin is part of a national trend of fewer traffic deaths.
But Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association, said the goal remains getting the total number of deaths on the roads to zero.