Crash deaths dip to 20-year low in North Dakota

Of the 2022 deaths, nearly 67% were unbelted where seat belts were present in the vehicle, according to the North Dakota Department of Transportation.

Fatal Crash.jpg
According to a release from the North Dakota Highway Patrol, a fatal, head-on crash occurred at approximately 8:27 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13, on Sixth Avenue NE (County Road 7), about six miles east of Thompson, North Dakota.
Jim Johnson / WDAZ News

FARGO โ€” Ninety-eight people died in motor vehicle crashes in North Dakota in 2022.

It was the lowest total number of crash deaths since 2002, when there were 97 fatalities, according to the North Dakota Department of Transportation.

NDDOT released its final crash data for 2022 on Monday, March 27, saying the state has seen a steady drop in crash deaths over the past 10 years.

โ€œWe continue to see progress in many areas, however there is still work to be done to improve seat belt usage in the state,โ€ NDDOT Director Ron Henke said in a statement.

Of the 2022 deaths, nearly 67% were not belted where seat belts were present in the vehicle, NDDOT said.


The state's Vision Zero program, aimed at eliminating traffic deaths, has been working to educate the public about the benefits of always wearing a seat belt, "as well as changing preventable human behavior to prevent crashes through outreach programs and partnerships," NDDOT said.

North Dakota transportation officials reported that in 2022:

  • 46 people killed in crashes were not wearing a seat belt, an increase from 37 in 2021.
  • 35 deaths were alcohol-related, the same as 2021.
  • 25 deaths were speed-related, a drop from 29 in 2021.
  • 21 people killed in crashes were motorcyclists, a spike from eight in 2021.
  • Six people killed in crashes were pedestrians, a decrease from 10 in 2021.
  • 50 fatal crashes involved lane departure, an increase from 46 in 2021.
  • 21 fatal crashes involved a commercial motor vehicle, a jump from eight in 2021.

In 2023, crash deaths are trending higher than last year, with 16 deaths so far this year, NDDOT said. There were 15 deaths for the same time period in 2021.

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