(Fargo, ND) -- You may have noticed more crashes than usual on roadways around the area, but the number of those crashes may actually surprise you.
The North Dakota Highway Patrol says in the Southeast Region of the state, encompassing the FM Metro area, crashes have been on a level not seen in quite some time.
"It's not an exact number, but I want to say we've seen around 850 or so crashes here in the Southeast Region of the state since November 1st of last year," said Captain Bryan Niewind while speaking with WDAY Radio about the above normal crash total in the area. "In all, that's roughly double the amount of crashes we usually respond to in the same amount of time normally."
So, why the major increase in crashes? Captain Niewind has a few theories.
"People are just not slowing down, even when conditions are bad," said Niewind. "People are still using their cruise control, still not planning ahead when the weather turns bad. It's leading to a lot of mistakes on roadways all across North Dakota, especially in our region."
Captain Niewind says, with more winter weather expected before things finally warm up, drivers need to heed the warnings put out by law enforcement to slow down, plan ahead and stay off closed roadways or that crash number will only continue to rise.