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Sharing the roads with some potential bad drivers

todayMay 26, 2024 4

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Those traveling across South Dakota this Memorial Day weekend are doing it with some of the worst drivers in America.

Forbes Advisor ranked the state the 14th worst for drivers. That’s based on the 17.21 fatal crashes per 100,000 people. For every crash, 5.84 per 100,000 people involved a drunk driver.

The South Dakota Highway Patrol reminded drivers to drive safe this holiday weekend. The patrol said there were two reported fatalities, 77 reported injuries and 254 reported crashes during the 2023 Memorial Day holiday weekend.

The reporting this year started at 6 p.m. on May 24 and will end at 11:59 p.m. on Memorial Day.

The 254 reported crashes during the 78-hour Memorial Day weekend is the highest in 20 years, according to state Department of Public Safety (DPS) annual crash reports. According to the 2022 state crash report, there were 177 total crashes in 2019. The highest number of fatalities in 20 years was in six in 2017.

The July 4 holiday time period tracked by the state depends on what day of the week the holiday lands. Generally, the July 4 holiday weekend has more fatalities and injuries. In the 30 hours of 2007, there were 13 injury crashes and 25 injuries. In the 78 hours of in 2022, there were three fatalities and 40 injuries.

Off-road safety in the Black Hills

So what kind of drivers are sharing the roads this Memorial Day weekend?

Nearly 154,000 South Dakotans are expected to travel for the holiday, according to AAA.

Wallethub ranks South Dakota 46th in worst teen drivers. It’s 46th in safety and 36th in driving laws. South Dakota teens can drive alone with a restricted permit under certain guidelines at 14.

When there is a fatal or injury crash, there is a good chance the driver is under 25. About 28% of all drinking drivers in fatalities and injuries were under 25 while about 39% of the drivers involved in fatal or injury crashes were under 25 and speeding.

In 2022, speeding was the cause of death in 47 fatalities and 34% of all fatal crashes were related to speeding, according to the DPS.

The DPS said 478 people died in crashes with an alcohol-impaired driver from 2013 to 2022.

As of May 22, there were 39 crash fatalities in the state.

Written by: Badlands Classic Rock

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