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Motor Vehicle Fatalities Decreased in North Dakota in 2018

January 2019

In 2018, 104 people lost their lives as a result of motor vehicle accidents in North Dakota. This number represents a decrease of 10 percent according to the information provided by the North Dakota Department of Transportation and the North Dakota Highway Patrol. While state authorities are encouraged by this decrease, they explain that even one death as a result of a motor vehicle accident is too many. 

Causes of Fatal Motor Vehicle Accidents

Most motor vehicle accidents in North Dakota and throughout the United States could be prevented through changes in driver behavior. The state’s authorities suggest that a culture of personal responsibility could result in fewer deaths on the roads. Some of the behavior-related causes of motor vehicle accident fatalities include excessive speed, driving while under the influence or intoxicated and not wearing a seat belt. Of the 2018 motor vehicle accident fatalities in North Dakota, about 50 percent were not wearing a seat belt. Around 32 percent of the fatalities were alcohol-related. About 35 percent of the fatalities involved excessive speed. Some of the accidents may have had two or more relevant risk factors contributing to the deaths. 

Vision Zero

North Dakota implemented the Vision Zero program as a strategy to eliminate all motor vehicle accident fatalities and serious injuries. The program focuses on personal behaviors and decisions made by drivers. The state’s government accepts responsibility for maintaining safe infrastructure and coordinating with the federal government for safe interstates. Local and state authorities also take responsibility for providing prompt and appropriate emergency services. The third component of Vision Zero is personal responsibility for drivers. The state wants drivers to achieve 100 percent seat belt usage, eliminate alcohol consumption before driving and adhere to posted speed limits. North Dakota’s law enforcement also aims to offer more training to young drivers and enforce existing laws about distracted driving. 

Safe Driving Tips Around Motorcycles

Motorcyclists are at an especially high risk of becoming seriously injured or dying after a motor vehicle accident. Some of the top causes of serious injuries and fatalities of motorcyclists include a lack of basic riding skills, lack of motorcycle certification and failure to adhere to posted speed limits. Other drivers on the roads put motorcyclists at risk by not giving them enough clearance, speeding around them and inappropriately passing them. For safe driving around motorcycles, North Dakota’s law enforcement authorities recommend: 

  • Knowing and obeying traffic laws
  • Avoiding tailgating
  • Avoiding driving between slow or stopped lanes of traffic
  • Treating other motorists and motorcyclists with courtesy and respect
  • Using appropriate turn signals
  • Properly maintaining the motorcycle or vehicle
  • Leaving the stock muffler in place

What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident 

If you or your loved one experienced an injury as a result of a motorcycle accident, it is important for you to take action and protect your rights. At the law offices of Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben, our personal injury attorneys have represented motorcycle accident victims and their families. Contact us today in order to schedule a free consultation at 612-377-7777 or toll free at 1-800-752-4265.

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