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Safe Driving Habits Contribute to Decreased Motor Vehicle Fatalities in North Dakota in 2016

February 2017

Preliminary data from the North Dakota Department of Transportation and the North Dakota Highway Patrol indicate that motor vehicle fatalities in North Dakota in 2016 were significantly reduced compared to the previous year, down 13 percent from 131 in 2015 to only 114 in 2016. 

The vast majority of these 114 fatalities involved passenger vehicles, but motorcyclists, pedestrians, bicyclists, and all-terrain vehicles were also included. The data also indicates that a substantial number of those who were killed died in single-vehicle rollover crashes. 74 percent of these involved individuals not wearing a seat belt, and 62 percent of these crashes were alcohol-related. 

While many factors can contribute to motor vehicle crashes, speed is a major cause of fatal motor vehicle crashes. Speed was a contributing factor in 21 percent of the 114 motor vehicle fatalities in North Dakota in 2016. 

Since speed is such a significant factor in motor vehicle fatalities, it is important to know and implement tips to reduce the likelihood of being involved in a speed-related motor vehicle crash. Some of these tips include:

  • Avoid Blind Spots
    Large vehicles in particular such as trucks and buses can have sizable blind spots, and lurking in these spots increases the risk of a crash. One way you can reduce the risk is to ensure you can see other drivers’ faces in their mirrors. If you can’t, they are unable to see you, which means you are in a blind spot.
  • Stay Back
    Tailgating is tempting when you come across a driver moving slower than you would like, but it is a big accident risk. Allow for plenty of distance between you and the vehicle in front of you so you can stop quickly if needed.
  • Pass Safely
    When you pass a vehicle, especially a bus or truck since they require more stopping time due to their size, be sure you can see the entire front of the vehicle in your mirror before making your move back to your original lane.
  • Pay Attention
    Know what is going on around you, and slow down and wait rather than making risky moves such as speeding past a truck that is backing up or waiting to make a turn. 

For more information, visit the North Dakota Traffic Safety Network Partner website Code for the Road.

While it is good news that motor vehicle fatalities in North Dakota are down, accidents still happen. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, contact the experienced North Dakota personal injury attorneys at Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben today. We can help. Fill out the contact form at www.schwebel.com or call 612-377-7777 or toll free at 1-800-752-4265 for a free consultation. Drive safely!

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