The most common type of crash resulting in serious injuries in rural areas in North Dakota involves single-vehicle lane departure. The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) reminds drivers to take personal responsibility behind the wheel to avoid lane departure crashes.
A lane departure crash occurs after a vehicle crosses an edge line or a center line, or otherwise leaves the traveled way. Crashes of this type are generally very serious because they often happen at relatively high speeds. In 2019, a lane departure-related crash occurred nearly every two hours and a fatality occurred nearly every six days.
“Drivers can reduce incidents of these crashes by solely focusing on driving. This means avoiding distractions like your cell phone or other electronics,” said NDDOT Safety Division Director Karin Mongeon. “By paying attention to the road rather than what’s going on in your day, you are able to scan the road ahead, use your mirrors and look for possible hazards when driving.”
The most harmful events for single-vehicle fatal lane departure crashes involved overturning/rolling over (77%) and collisions with fixed objects (11%) such as trees, utility/light poles, traffic signs and mailboxes.
This campaign is part of the Vision Zero summer H.E.A.T. (Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic) strategy to eliminate motor vehicle crash fatalities and serious injuries on North Dakota roads. Over the past five years, more people have died in motor vehicle crashes in warm weather months (May through October) than cold weather months. H.E.A.T. will take place through August to encourage everyone to wear a seat belt, use appropriate child passenger safety seats, drive sober and distraction-free, and follow all posted speed limits.
Visit the North Dakota Crash Memorial Wall to view memorials built on the hope of preventing another death on North Dakota roads.