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North Dakota bucks national trend for highway fatalities

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | Car Accidents

As you navigate North Dakota roads, consider some sobering facts. While traffic deaths declined by nearly 4% across the United States in 2023, fatalities rose by over 8% in our state, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics.

Nearly 41,000 people died in U.S. traffic accidents last year compared to 42,514 the year before. In 2022, 98 people died in North Dakota crashes, with the total increasing to 106 in 2023. Understanding the contributing factors is crucial.

Fatalities rise despite safer cars

You buckle up, check your mirrors and follow the speed limit, trusting in the advanced safety features of your vehicle to protect you and your loved ones. Yet, this sense of security is offset by the fact that traffic fatalities remain alarmingly high.

Despite modern safety features like automatic braking and lane departure warnings, the reality is that no technology can completely counteract distracted, reckless or drunk driving, speeding, human error or other unpredictable events.

Non-motorists face rising risks

When you think of traffic fatalities, you might picture multi-car collisions, but an alarming trend is the increased vulnerability of those outside vehicles. Pedestrians and bicyclists, increasingly active when temperatures climb, are at heightened risk.

In its report, NHTSA highlighted that nearly 20% of those killed in distracted driving incidents were non-motorists. This is a stark reminder that safety is not just a driver’s concern but everyone who travels on or near public roadways.

Bigger vehicles, bigger risks

The appeal of larger vehicles like SUVs and trucks is undeniable in North Dakota. However, the continued popularity of these vehicles comes with an often-overlooked consequence: they are more likely to cause severe injuries in accidents.

Their size and weight can be a double-edged sword, offering protection for those inside while posing a greater threat to other road users.

Recovering from a crash

If a motorist’s negligence injures you, knowing what steps to take to protect your health and rights is essential. First, seek medical attention immediately, even if you feel fine as some injuries are not immediately apparent. Document the scene, gather witness information and record as much as you can, as these details can be vital later on.

Notify your insurance company but be careful about what you share: stick to the facts and avoid taking the blame or giving detailed statements. Getting experienced legal guidance to protect your rights to fair and just compensation can be crucial.