The holiday season in South Dakota is known for being the most wonderful time of the year. That can be said for a number of different reasons, with the possible exception of maybe traveling by automobile.

If you've ever packed up the clan and hit the holiday road over the Christmas season, I'm guessing you are very familiar with just how treacherous traveling by car can be in a state like South Dakota at times.

What makes it so bad?

It's not the unpredictability of the weather, or the unbearable smell coming from the backseat as the motion picture "Vacation" would lead you to believe. No, it's actually the amount of Christmas cheer we South Dakotans like to consume before hopping in the car.

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The insurance company called Jerry did a study that determined just how deadly it was to drive through each state in the nation during the Christmas holiday season.

What they found is the combination of alcohol and speeding were the two primary factors leading to the most common causes of automobile accident fatalities over the holidays.

Using data provided to them by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Jerry found on average about 312 people lose their lives as a result of car crashes each year during the holiday season.

They looked at data from 2011 to 2020 and found that a total of 3,127 people were killed in 2,812 different car accidents during the Christmas holiday season during that time period.

The great majority of those deaths were attributed to alcohol and excessive speeding.

Men between the ages of 16 and 25 were the most common victims.

The research showed that at least one driver tested positive for alcohol in 63% of fatal holiday car crashes in which a blood-alcohol test was conducted. That figure was 52% for the remainder of the year.  Speeding played a huge role as well. Excessive speed was a factor in 41% of deadly Christmas season crashes, compared to 39% of fatal automobile accidents throughout the rest of the year.

The deadliest time to be on the road during the holidays is between 6 PM and Midnight on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, with the two deadliest hours being 6 PM to 8 PM on Christmas Day.

As strange as it may seem, Christmas Day racks up the most holiday fatalities during the entire seven-day holiday travel period, followed closely by Christmas Eve.

The state of South Dakota is one of the most deadliest this time of year!

South Dakota showed up at #5 per capita on Jerry's list when it comes to automobile accident-related fatalities over the holidays. Mississippi tops the list, followed by North Dakota.

Yikes! Looks like we South and North Dakotans need to cut way back on our holiday libations or start doing a much better job of calling an Uber or naming a designated driver.

All the snow and ice we receive this time of the year certainly helps to complicate things even further and makes travel on South Dakota roads and highways even more challenging.

Just another very good reason why we all should take a lesson from this research and work on becoming more responsible drivers during the holidays and throughout the rest of the year.

Safe travels everyone. Here's to wishing you and your family a blessed holiday season!

10 Most Dangerous Cities in South Dakota

Cities on the east and west side of the Missouri River have made the latest list of South Dakota's Most Dangerous Cities for 2021.

Roadsnacks recently released its most 'Dangerous Cities' list and here in The Mount Rushmore state there are a few surprises, especially at the top. To determine the most dangerous cities in the state, Roadsnacks looked at the FBI's report on the latest violent crime, along with property crime statistics.

And surprisingly, the town with the most murders per capita in the state has less than 3,000 residents. Take a look at the list below.

For a look at the detailed list, visit Story Source: Roadsncaks

A Survival Guide For Your First Winter in South Dakota

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and the rest of the Sioux Empire (AKA southeastern South Dakota) are welcoming thousands of new residents every year.

Many of you new folks will be experiencing your first eastern South Dakota winter. While it doesn't usually get as bad as our Dakota friends up north, I speak from experience when I say it can get a little rough.

So, to help ease you into winter in Sioux Falls and South Dakota here are some winter survival tips:

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