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South Dakota fatal crashes increased by 38% in latest report

Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 10:41 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - 2020 reported the highest number of fatal crashes in the state of South Dakota since 2007.

This comes one year after 2019 set a new record low.

The three main factors associated with vehicle fatalities in 2020 were speed, alcohol use and not wearing seat belts.

Another fatal factor was distracted driving involving cell phone use.

“If you are focused on your phone, you are not focused on the road which could lead to any number of things to go wrong, which is why we encourage people to put your phones down,” says Amanda Hossle, the South Dakota Director of the Office of Highway Safety.

South Dakota isn’t the only state to see an increase in the number of traffic deaths.

In what seems to be a trend, 2020 had vehicle fatalities in other parts of the nation as well.

“We’re concerned anytime we see an increase in fatality numbers and we’re not alone in this as it’s a nationwide trend that we are seeing we’re not in this boat alone as nationwide did see an increase” says Hossle.

Many hope 2020 was just an anomaly, but it may not be as so far in 2021, traffic deaths are higher than they were at this same time last year.

“What we’re seeing so far in 2021 is an increase in where we were at this time last year that’s why it’s so important for the department of safety as a whole getting the word out there to people how important it is to be safe out on the road.”

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