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Forum Communications Co. report, Published August 31 2010

Number of crash fatalities decrease in ND

BISMARCK — Fewer North Dakotans are dying in car accidents this year compared to last year.

As of Monday, 59 people have died from motor vehicle crashes in North Dakota, compared to 92 people at the same time last year, the North Dakota Highway Patrol said in a news release. The patrol encourages drivers to stay safe on the road as Labor Day weekend approaches.

Rumble strips, turning lanes, education efforts and enforcement campaigns are proving to be effective measures to help reduce crash rates, according to the patrol.

Western North Dakota experienced a marked decrease in fatality rates compared to last year. Statistics indicate motor vehicle fatalities for the 17 oil and gas producing counties are 56 percent lower than this point last year.

Nineteen motorists have died in this region compared to 43 at the same time last year.

Excessive speed, alcohol impairment, right-of-way violations and inattention are common contributing factors for North Dakota traffic crashes, the patrol said.

Lack of seat-belt use also continues to contribute to preventable injuries and deaths. Additional crash statistics are available at www.nd.gov/ndhp/.