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Thanks, Jason: Highway Fatalities Increase in South Dakota in 2020

The Department of Public Safety announced Wednesday that South Dakota’s highways were 38% deadlier in 2020 than they were in 2019. 141 people died last year in 132 fatal crashes, compared with 102 people killed in 88 fatal crashes in 2019. DPS says 2019 was a record low year for crashes, so the apparent jump in 2020 is as much an artifact of remarkably safer driving in 2019 as of remarkably reckless driving in 2020.

Killer Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg accounted for 2.6% of the increase in people killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2020. Maybe we can bring that number back down by taking away Jason’s driver’s license.

I’d have thought that the pandemic would have led to less driving and fewer deadly crashes. We did drive less, but it appears the recklessness that kept knuckleheads like Jason Ravnsborg on the road during a pandemic correlates with a willingness to take other deadly risks:

A new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) projects that the U.S. pedestrian fatality rate rose 20% in the first six months of 2020 as speeding, distracted and impaired driving, and other dangerous driving behaviors increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

GHSA’s annual Spotlight on Highway Safety offers the first comprehensive look at state and national trends in 2020 pedestrian traffic deaths, based on preliminary data provided by State Highway Safety Offices in all 50 states and the District of Columbia (D.C.). The analysis found that from January through June 2020, 2,957 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle crashes – six more than the same period in 2019. Factoring in a 16.5% reduction in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) nationwide, the rate of drivers striking and killing pedestrians jumped to 2.2 deaths per billion VMT, a significant and unsettling increase from 1.8 deaths the year before [Governors Highway Safety Association, press release, 2021.03.23].

There aren’t that many pedestrian fatalities in South Dakota, so solid comparisons to national danger levels are difficult. To the extent we dare make such comparisons, our pedestrian fatality rate relative to population is notably below the national average… perhaps because South Dakota’s walkability, even in our big towns, is so relatively bad even in our sizable towns that far fewer people feel capable of or comfortable walking to where they want to go and giving Killer Jason a target-richer environment.

9 Comments

  1. Mark Anderson 2021-04-16

    Check the speed limit. How many were related?

  2. Sion G. Hanson 2021-04-16

    How does the increase correlate with the state-wide increase in alcohol consumption? Jason…oh yeah, I had forgotten about him. Is he still driving? In SD, if you do something bad and wind up in the news, the modus operandi seems to be to ignore it until it goes away. Unless you are just a peon, ordinary Joe.

  3. John Dale 2021-04-16

    Solid leadership has made South Dakota a destination .. it’s likely from the influx of visitors who have never been here, but wanted to check it out.

    It’s probably an ad-hoc fallacy to try to tie this to the SDGOP or our AG, but that’s what we like about you, Cory.

    You’re an information warrior and make no apologies about the ideas you’re trying to slay.

    Good on you.

  4. cibvet 2021-04-16

    Less traffic, higher speeds. Speed kills!

  5. W R Old Guy 2021-04-16

    Inattention plays a part. I was on I-90 this morning and found the HP was running a saturation patrol from exit 37 to exit 52. I counted 9 patrol cars in that stretch. I observed one driver passed a marked HP Suburban with a light bar on the roof and then realized what he had done. The lights came on and he pulled to the shoulder. Speed limit on that stretch is 75. I would guess he was at 80+.

  6. grudznick 2021-04-16

    Mr. Old Guy, the cops are going to get you when you dick around, you scofflaw, around the Elk Creek area. I would suggest you just follow the rules and drive less crazy. I hope those cops thumped that kid in the noggin because he resisted.

    grudznick is here to tell you fellows: if the cops say “stop” then stop. Or you should get thumped.

  7. M 2021-04-17

    Clearly with less than 1 million people and wide open spaces, there should be less accidents than anywhere. However, there are people on the road that should not be. Jason R is one of them. When a person acquires a certain amount of infractions, their license should be yanked. Driving is a privilege not a right.

    More accidents and deaths in our area were with young people. How many of you had a car at the age of 16? The parking lot at the school here takes up more area than all the rest of school properties, including playgrounds.

    More cars, more people driving, more people driving for the fun of it, and awful roads that can sometimes be the cause of an accident. We lost 2 adults 2 years ago after a road washed out.

    Ever try to pull over to the side of the road to answer a text or fix a flat? Someone keeps removing the shoulders. Last year on north HW 83, 2 truckers collided and one was killed because a truck was carrying a wide load and there was not enough road for them to go by each other. You’ll never catch me on that road again.

  8. mike from iowa 2021-04-17

    Watched the Adam Toledo execution several times and could not understand a single word the cop was screaming at 13 year old, whom he then shot while the kids hands were clearly empty and raised in surrender. The gun at the scene appears to be out of ammo.

    In Grudzilla’s pastey white playground even the pastey white unicorn horns are stoked to the gills with weepons.

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