SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As of mid-to-late July 2021, the state of South Dakota had seen 77 fatal crashes, for a total of 87 total fatalities. This year, that number is significantly lower.

As of July 2022, the state of South Dakota has recorded 49 deadly crashes for a total of 53 fatalities, a drop of nearly 40% in terms of individual fatalities.

Fatalities to date have fallen across the board in all but two categories; ATV/UTV fatalities and bicyclist fatalities.

ATV/UTV fatalities have risen by 1 from 2021, to a total of 2 in 2022 so far. Bicycle fatalities have risen by 2, up from 0 in 2021.

DPS says that traffic fatality numbers shift every year and that no single factor can be pointed to in order to explain why rates have fallen in the last year, though a spokesperson did say that state agencies have focused on both education and enforcement to encourage safer driving.

One factor in particular cited by DPS in a discussion of traffic deaths is seat belt use, which is encouraged.