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Lane departure and lack of seat belt use lead fatality statistics

Lane departure and lack of seat belt use lead fatality statistics

For Immediate Release: Jul 17 2023
STATEWIDE, N.D. – Preliminary crash data for the first six months of 2023 indicates that 56% of the 42 motor vehicle fatalities in North Dakota were unbelted where seat belts were present in the vehicle.
Motor vehicle fatalities from Jan. 1 to June 30, 2023 are trending higher than they were in 2022. For the same time period there were 38 fatalities in 2022 and 47 in 2021.
Preliminary fatality data through June 30, 2023 indicates:
  • 18 fatalities were not wearing their seat belt, an increase from 16 in 2022.
  • 21 fatalities were lane departure-related, an increase from 18 in 2022.
  • Eight fatalities were speed-related, a decrease from 11 in 2022.
  • Four fatalities were motorcyclists, a decrease from nine in 2022.
  • Four fatalities were pedestrians, an increase from three in 2022.
    • Preliminary data is subject to change pending receipt of information that a death occurred within 30 days as a result of injuries sustained in a crash.
    • Alcohol-related fatalities are not included due to pending investigations.
“Lack of seat belt use is consistently one of the largest contributing factors to fatalities on North Dakota roads, alongside lane departure,” said Karin Mongeon, Highway Safety Division Director. “All vehicle occupants should remember to buckle up, every seat, every trip, every time.”

In an effort to save lives, North Dakota will be moving from a secondary to primary seat belt law on Aug. 1. This message is a part of the Summer H.E.A.T. (Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic) strategy and Vision Zero initiative to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries on North Dakota roadways. Summer H.E.A.T. will take place through August to encourage everyone to wear a seat belt, use appropriate child passenger safety seats, follow all posted speed limits, and drive sober and distraction-free.

Learn more about the Vision Zero strategy and its traffic safety campaigns at