JAMESTOWN, N.D. (NDDOT) – There have been 27 motor vehicle fatalities in North Dakota since May 8, bringing the 2021 total to 56 as of July 12.

That’s 12 more fatalities than the same time period in 2020, and two more than the same period in 2019.

Nearly 94% of crashes are attributable to preventable human behavior. All North Dakota drivers and vehicle occupants can take personal responsibility when traveling by always wearing a seat belt, using appropriate child passenger safety seats, following all posted speed limits and driving sober and distraction-free.

“As more vehicles travel during the summer, we want to stress that wearing your seat belt can save your life. You can’t predict other driver’s behaviors on the road, so the best way to protect yourself against serious injury or death is by wearing your seat belt,” explains Safety Division Director, Karin Mongeon. “Halfway through 2021 we’ve seen an increased number of vehicle fatalities on our state roadways, with over half of those fatalities not wearing their seat belts.”

Of the 2021 motor vehicle fatalities in North Dakota, 58% were unbelted where seat belts were present in the vehicle and 25% were speed-related.

Motorists attending the State Fair this month are reminded to wear their seat belts as they travel to and from Minot. Law enforcement across the state continues their heightened enforcement efforts as part of Summer H.E.A.T. (Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic). Summer H.E.A.T. is focusing on seat belt violations with a statewide Click it or Ticket campaign that continues through August 19.

Learn how you can take personal responsibility when traveling at VisionZero.ND.gov