There were 104 people who lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes in North Dakota in 2018, a decrease of 10 percent (12 fatalities) from 2017, according to preliminary crash data released by the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) and the North Dakota Highway Patrol (NDHP). This is the lowest fatality number since 2008 in which there were 104 motor vehicle fatalities as well.
“To lose one life is one too many, but we are encouraged to see fatality numbers trending down from last year,” says Tom Sorel, NDDOT Director. “While the NDDOT is continually making highway improvements, there is still work to be done. We must continue to make progress towards our goal of Vision Zero - zero fatalities and zero serious injuries on North Dakota roadways. This can be achieved through establishing a culture of personal responsibility where motor vehicle fatalities and serious injuries are recognized as preventable and not tolerated.”
Preventable behavior-related factors such as not wearing a seat belt, alcohol, and speed contribute significantly to motor vehicle fatalities in North Dakota. Of the 104 fatalities in 2018, approximately 50 percent were not wearing their seat belt (seat belt use was not applicable in 27 percent of these fatalities), 32 percent were alcohol-related (this percent may increase pending final toxicology results), and 35 percent (37 fatalities) were speed-related. Victims ranged in age from 1 year old to 97 years old and 81 percent were North Dakota residents.