Traffic Fatalities Rise in South Dakota, But Still Below National Trends
South Dakota is still one of the safest states when it comes to driving, even though 2017 road fatalities were higher than 2016. Officials report that the two biggest causes of roadway crashes remain speed and alcohol.
There were 129 traffic fatalities in South Dakota during 2017. That is up from the 116 reported in 2016, a year which saw the second lowest fatality total of all time. Of the 129 traffic fatalities last year 101 were motor vehicle fatalities. There were 111 fatal crashes in 2017. Out of the 101 motor vehicle fatalities, 66 of those who died were not wearing seatbelts.
“The 2017 numbers are up, but we still have one of the lowest five-year fatality trends in the nation,” state Office of Highway Safety director Lee Axdahl said in a statement. “And, while even one traffic fatality is one too many, the numbers prove that South Dakota drivers are among the safest in the nation.”