South Dakota Motorcycle Fatality Statistics
South Dakota reported 31 motorcycle deaths in 2015, according to information provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This number was almost double the total in 2014 and up from the prior three years. The lowest total in the past decade came in 2011 with 14. The highest number of deaths occurred in 2015.
Most of the people who were fatality victims in motorcycle accidents were not wearing their helmets. In fact, only nine were helmeted. The other 22 did not have one on at the time of the crash. The state only requires riders 17 years old and younger to wear a helmet. It also had a 29 percent helmet usage rate in 2015, which saved five lives. If the rate had been 100 percent, another eight lives might have been saved.
The majority of fatalities in motorcycle crashes involved victims who were in the 50-59 age group with 11 for 2015. Nine victims were over the age of 50 while only one was under the age of 20 and another one was in the 20-29 age range. In fact, the number who were in the 50-59 category was equal to all fatality victims under that age.
There were 89,460 motorcycles registered in the state in 2014. The fatality rate per 100,000 was 19.00, which is reduced from previous years and lower than many other states.
Fewer than half the counties reported a motorcycle death in 2015. There were 13 counties with at least one fatality report, but only two of those had more than five. Both of these counties were located in the western portion of the state. Meade County reported six for the year, which was an increase from previous years. Pennington County was in first place with seven deaths for 2015.