SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – There was a fatal crash reported in South Dakota nearly every three days during the month of July.
According to state-reported fatal crashes by the South Dakota Department of Public Safety, there were 10 deaths from 10 different crashes in the month of July across the state. That did not include fatal crashes inside city limits like Sioux Falls, where there were two deaths from crashes in the month of July.
Despite the high number of crashes in the month of July, deaths from crashes are down by two compared to the same time in 2022.
According to the Drive Safe SD website, there have been 60 deaths in 2023 through July 2023 compared to 62 at the same time in 2022.
“Every year, South Dakotans lose their lives in fatal crashes because they don’t take the proper precautions behind the wheel. Always wear your seat belt. Keep your eyes on the road. Slow down. And never drive after drinking,” the Drive Safe SD website says.
In 2021, there were a total of 19,464 reported motor vehicle crashes causing 4,963 injuries and 148 deaths. In 2022, there were 127 deaths from motor vehicle crashes.
South Dakota ranks below the national average in seat belt use. In 2022, South Dakota averaged 88.1% seat belt use, while the national average was 91.6% according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
According to the 2021 South Dakota Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Summary Fact Book, in the past 10 years, the average number of motorcycle-involved crashes is 471 and 20 deaths per year.
The economic loss from motor vehicle traffic crashes is estimated at $533 million in 2021.
The 2021 fact book was published in August 2022. The 2022 report has not been published yet.