South Dakota – Fatal Car Crash Statistics

South Dakota – Fatal Car Crash Statistics

Each year, the South Dakota Department of Public Safety releases a motor vehicle crash summary. According to this report, the state saw 116 roadway fatalities during 2016 and 133 fatalities in 2015. The majority of these deadly car crashes occurred on rural highways and county roads. Of the vehicle occupants who were killed, 51.8 percent were also ejected from the car.

Rate of Traffic Fatalities

In 2016 South Dakota’s car crash fatality rate was 1.23 per 1 million vehicle miles traveled. This was down from a rate of 1.43 in 2015. According to data collected between 2009 and 2015, Jackson County had the highest motor vehicle mortality rate with 77 deaths per 100,000 population. Brookings and Lincoln counties have the lowest vehicle mortality with a rate of seven people dying in car accidents for every 100,000 people.

Factors in Car Crash Mortality

  • Alcohol - Of drivers in fatal car crashes, 32.6 percent had been drinking. This is up from 24.6 percent in 2015. Alcohol was a factor in the death of 55 people of the 116-people killed on the road that year. The Department of Public Safety found that 2011 had the lowest number of fatal crashes involving alcohol—37 deaths in that one year. The year with the highest number was 138 in 1973.
  • Speeding - South Dakota saw 31 speeding related fatalities in 2015, similar to the 30 such deaths the year before. 65.6 percent of the speeding drivers involved in fatal and injury crashes were younger than 35 years of age.

Fatalities by Crash Type

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been collecting data for years on six different types of fatal car crashes in each state. For South Dakota, accidents involving roadway departure are constantly the worst type followed by single vehicle accidents. The following statistics are from accidents that occurred in 2015.

  1. Roadway departure accidents resulted in 87 fatalities, down from 95 in 2014.
  2. Single vehicle crashes caused 71 deaths in 2015, compared to 78 the year previous.
  3. Accidents involving a roller resulted in the death of 54 people, two more than 2014.
  4. 31 deaths involved speeding, similar to the 30 speeding-related fatalities in 2014.
  5. 24 people died in intersection-related accidents, up from 21.
  6. Accidents involving a large truck caused 13 deaths. This is significantly fewer than the 21 deaths in 2014.

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