Distracted driving accidents vastly underreported across the state: Vision Zero and ND Highway Patrol

Photo by: WDAY Radio File (Canva)
Photo by: WDAY Radio File (Canva)

(Bismarck, ND) -- The 100 deadliest days of summer continues, and distracted driving is still a key factor in many of the fatal crashes on North Dakota roadways. 

"Over the past three years, there's been seventeen fatalities related to the driver of the vehicle being distracted, "said North Dakota Highway Patrol Sergeant Wade Kadramas, speaking on data provided by the North Dakota Department of Transportation. "Of those seventeen, six of those were in the age group of fifteen to twenty years old."

Sergeant Kadramas says that makes up 35% of the total number of fatal crashes caused by distracted drivers. However, he says the numbers alone don't tell the full story. He says full investigation are conducted when it comes to fatal crashes, not only for the families of the deceased but also to determine if a law being broken led to the crash. The same steps and procedures are often not used in much less significant crashes, if they are even reported to authorities.  

"[Imagine] its a perfectly nice and sunny day, you have good road conditions, and you have one motorist run into the back of another vehicle. How do you explain that?" asked Sgt. Kadramas. "The driver was distracted in someway, whether it was visually, cognitively, or manually.  Something pulled that drivers attention away from the roadway and away from their primary task of driving that vehicle."

You can read the report mentioned in the interview with Sergeant Wade Kadramas by clicking here

Original Air Date: 
Wednesday, June 21, 2023