Question: How does the Minnesota State Patrol decide what the injury type is labeled in crash reports? How does the Minnesota State Patrol decide an injury is life threatening or not?

Answer: When the Minnesota State Patrol responds to and investigates crashes, troopers begin the investigation by gathering information at the scene. This information is put together for crash reports and other investigative reports. The status of those involved are put into one of five categories.

  • No injury
  • Possible injury
  • Minor injury
  • Serious injury
  • Fatal

For information posted on the Minnesota State Patrol’s webpage under “crash updates”, the injury types are listed as: none, injury and fatal. The injuries are listed as non-life threatening and life threatening. Generally, a life-threatening injury is an injury involving substantial risk of death; loss or substantial impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ or mental faculty that is likely to be permanent; or an obvious disfigurement that is likely to be permanent. The “crash updates” are not the official crash reports, but the public information that is available at the time.

Around 400 people have been killed and 30,500 injured every year on our Minnesota roadways for the past decade.

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The Department of Public Safety (DPS) uses the term “crash” instead of “accident” because traffic crashes can be prevented. Through enforcement, education, engineering and emergency trauma solutions, changes in driver’s behavior will help attack the public threat of tragic roadway fatalities and injuries.

Please drive smart so we can all get home safely at the end of the day!

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205. (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at, jesse.grabow@state.mn.us).