Driving fatalities a concern leading into Independence Day travels

PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota Department of Public Safety is reminding the public to use caution and common sense when traveling for the upcoming holiday weekend.

During last year’s travel report during the Independence Day weekend, there were 57 vehicle crashes across the state within a 30 hour period. One crash near Yankton resulted in five fatalities.

“It still comes down to common sense as it does every day,” said Lee Axdahl, director of the Office of Highway Safety. “It still is about being safe on the roads. Slow down, don’t get distracted, don’t drink and drive and wear a seat belt.”

Highway Patrol Superintendent Col. Rick Miller says more troopers also will be out on the roads as well, working to protect citizens. Miller also reminds drivers to be patient on the roads in the coming days.

“Many people will be rushing to get to their destination and that impatience can lead to crashes,” he said. “We encourage you to take your time and make sure you and others safely reach their destinations.”

South Dakota’s worst record for highway deaths was in 1967, where 11 people died on Independence Day. The last fatality free July 4 holiday period was in 2007.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News, Traffic & Accidents