Bismarck, ND (KEYZ)  It's turning out to be a deadly year on North Dakota roadways.

Preliminary data from the North Dakota Department of Transportation indicates nearly 67 percent of the motor vehicle deaths thus far in 2022 were among unbelted drivers or passengers. Transportation department officials say seat belts are the single most effective safety device to prevent death and injury in a motor vehicle crash.

Through a release Wednesday, July 20 NDDOT Highway Safety Division Director Karin Mongeon reiterated the need to buckle up especially with an increase in motorists on state roadways traveling to engage in a variety of summer activities.

"The summer is full of fun events across the state including fairs, rodeos, concerts and more. North Dakotans enjoy summer to the fullest,” said Mongeon.  “As travel increases, it is vital to take a moment to buckle up. The best way to protect yourself against serious injury and death is wearing your seat belt.”

 

Preliminary fatality data through June 30, 2022 also indicates¹:

  • 18 fatalities were lane departure-related, a decrease of nearly 31% from the same period in 2021.
  • 12 fatalities were speed-related, a decrease of 29% from the same period in 2021.
  • 10 fatalities were motorcyclists, an increase of nearly 67% from the same period in 2021.
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NDDOT officials are also reminding motorists that law enforcement across the state is continuing their heightened enforcement efforts as part of Summer H.E.A.T. (Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic). Summer H.E.A.T. is focusing on seat belt violations with a statewide Click It or Ticket campaign through August.

The bottom line?  "Buckle up every trip, every time."

¹North Dakota Department of Transportation via Press Release, July 20,2022