SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Officials said fatal car crashes are happening more often this year than last year, and many of them were not wearing seatbelts.
Car crashes can happen in a blink of an eye, and the number of fatal car crashes is higher this year than last year in South Dakota.
As of July 7, 2020, there were 51 fatal crashes and 52 fatalities. There were a total number of 132 fatal crashes in 2020, which resulted in 141 fatalities.
As of July 7, there were 62 fatal crashes and 68 fatalities, according to an official with the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.
Out of the 68 fatalities, 32 were not wearing seatbelts and 15 of them were. The remaining 21 are unknown or not applicable (i.e., motorcycles).
Not wearing seatbelts, speeding, or alcohol use were among the main factors in the fatal crashes.
The most important thing to remember when operating a motor vehicle is to wear a seatbelt. Other ways to stay safe on the road are to stay attentive, do not drive above the speed limit, and do not drink and drive.
In the case of a crash call law enforcement, stay with the vehicle, and assess any damages.
When a crash happens, safety must first be taken into consideration according to Ben Lord, a lieutenant with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s department. If the vehicle is in an unsafe area and can be moved, then move the vehicle out of the way. This is especially important if the crash takes place on a highway.
Always call law enforcement and file a report, even if the damages are minor. It is often required to provide a red tag to a body shop before they can begin working on a vehicle.
In addition to South Dakota’s fatal crash numbers, Iowa’s known crash fatalities as of July 7, is 152 and 139 fatal crashes, and Nebraska’s crash fatalities are 106, according to the state Department of Transportation.
To find more information on South Dakota’s safety and enforcement, visit the South Dakota Department of Public Safety website.