Big Rig Accidents in South Dakota
The number of reported motor vehicle incidents in South Dakota was 17,791 in 2015. This number is an increase over 2014 when there were 17,346 accidents. In 2015, 133 people died in traffic accidents while in 2014 the number was 136. Over the last ten years, the fatality rate decreased from 2.3 to 1.5 and has held steady for the last several years. The data is from the South Dakota Traffic Crash Summary report from 2015, providing the most recent information.
In 2015 there was one reported fatality due to a truck accident. The accident occurred with a straight truck. There were 108 injuries reported from truck crashes including 22 from truck, 7 with trailer, 3 with tractor only, 72 from semi and 4 from two or more trailers. The number of deaths represents 0.8% of all reported traffic deaths in SD.
Crashes in SD are categorized by the type of highway system on which they happened. According to the report, the Interstate roadways had 13.9% of total collisions which amounted to 2,473 incidents. Non-interstate rural roadways accounted for 66.1% of deadly collisions. 11.3% of fatal accidents occurred on city streets.
Factors in Collisions
There are a variety of different factors that could contribute to accidents on the roads. Contributing circumstances fall into one of two main categories including vision obscurement and road. Vision obscurement includes weather conditions, physical obstructions, and anything else that could keep a driver from seeing properly out the windshield. Road contributing factors are things such as ice and snow, animals on the road, trees, crops, signs or glare. The most common reported road circumstance was the weather.
Road surface conditions may add to the cause of a crash. Of all fatal reported in 2015, 96 of them were dry pavement. This equates to 83.5%. 7% were on wet surfaces, 4% on snow and 3% on sand or gravel. The peak time for crashes was between 3 pm and 6 pm when about 27.8% of fatal crashes happened. While the largest amount of collisions happened on Fridays, the highest number of deaths occurred on Saturdays and Sundays. The highest amount of deaths on the roads happened in the month of August.
Driver actions are also responsible for many crashes. In 2015 the most common driver-related contributing circumstances were running off the road, failure to maintain lane, failure to yield, driving too fast for road conditions, tailgating and driving while distracted. These issues and others were determined to have caused or added to a collision according to police and accident reports.