Fatalities down statewide
BY ALYSSA MEIER
As the air gets colder and ice covers the blacktop, accidents on the road start to grow in number. The last 40 days of the year have proven to be some of the most deadly because of this, so a North Dakota campaign is aiming to raise awareness and try and save the 20 lives lost between Nov. 21 and Dec. 31 every year.
"The (North Dakota Department of Transportation) noticed a trend in crash data from 2011-2014," Ashlee Doan, Safety Public Information Specialist of the Safety Division of the NDDOT said. "Over these four years, on average, 20 people died in motor vehicle crashes in North Dakota between November 21 and December 31."
There were only 11 fatalities in that time period this year, 6 of which were on McLean County roads. A shocking majority of these accidents involved drivers or passengers who were not wearing a seatbelt, while others stemmed from driving under the influence or simply going too fast for the conditions.
"Of these 11 motor vehicle fatalities since November 21, 2015, nearly 60 percent were single vehicle rollovers. Almost 80 percent of these motor vehicle fatalities were not wearing their seat belt and over 70 percent of those not wearing their seat belt were ejected. Twenty percent were alcohol-related - results could be higher pending toxicology reports," Doan said.