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Crash fatalities lowest in 20 years

Crash fatalities lowest in 20 years

For Immediate Release: Mar 27 2023

STATEWIDE, N.D. – A total of 98 people lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes in North Dakota in 2022 according to final crash data released by the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) Highway Safety Division.

North Dakota has seen a steady decrease in motor vehicle fatalities over the past 10 years. The 2022 fatality total is the lowest fatality count since 2002 when fatalities were 97.

“Traffic fatalities continue to decline across the state and are the lowest they’ve been in 20 years. We continue to see progress in many areas, however there is still work to be done to improve seat belt usage in the state,” said NDDOT Director Ron Henke.

Of the 2022 fatalities, nearly 67% were unbelted where seat belts were present in the vehicle. Vision Zero continues to educate the public about the benefits of always wearing a seat belt, as well as changing preventable human behavior to prevent crashes through outreach programs and partnerships.

The NDDOT reports that in 2022:

  • 46 fatalities were not wearing their seat belt, an increase from 37 in 2021.
  • 35 fatalities were alcohol-related, the same as they were in 2021.
  • 25 fatalities were speed-related, a decrease from 29 in 2021.
  • 21 fatalities were motorcyclists, an increase from eight in 2021.
  • Six fatalities were pedestrians, a decrease from 10 in 2021.
  • 50 fatal crashes involved lane-departure, an increase from 46 in 2021.
  • 21 fatal crashes involved a commercial motor vehicle, an increase from 8 in 2021.

Motor vehicle fatalities in 2023 are trending higher than 2022 with 16 fatalities since January 1, 2023. There were 15 fatalities for the same time period in 2021.

All North Dakotans can actively participate in Vision Zero by taking personal responsibility every time they travel by wearing a seat belt, using appropriate child passenger safety seats, following all posted speed limits, and driving sober and distraction-free.