For five years, these first four days of August have been the deadliest on Interstate-90. That is according to the South Dakota Highway Patrol. That is why troopers here, and in 14 states are challenging drivers to be safe. The goal is to get to Tuesday with zero fatal crashes.
"It's early yet. Friday, we're just now getting people leaving work early to go to their weekend plans," Sgt. Steven Schade, South Dakota Highway Patrol, said.
Schade and extra patrols are going up and down I-90, and I-94, from coast to coast. Schade said troopers will especially be watching for texters, fatigued or drunk drivers, and anyone who seems distracted.
"You'll notice that they'll drift on to the shoulder, they'll drive part way into the other lane. It's just, you know, you're watching their pattern of driving," Schade said.
A lot of crashes are avoidable, and Schade said people just need to slow down and pay attention.
"Or if they happen to come across a person who is driving all over the road, to call that person in and get them taken off the road," Schade said.
Four days without a fatality on these interstates is a big challenge, indeed. Schade said he hopes he goes into work on Tuesday, only to learn it was a quiet and safe weekend.
"I'd be happy that we made our goal that everybody was working out here to make sure everyone made their travel safely," Schade said.
Schade said the Sturgis Rally plays a part in why the first four days of August have the highest number of crashes on I-90.