Recent crashes highlight the importance of safe driving

Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 10:19 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Several vehicle accidents took place over the weekend in the Red River Valley.

At least four people died and several were severely injured.

“It is concerning obviously we’re getting into our winter months where we get a little bit busier with crashes. Our fatality crash picture shows we’re actually above last year’s rate and the year before,” said Captain Bryan Niewind of the North Dakota Highway Patrol.

Niewind says there are a couple of contributing factors for many of these crashes.

“Majority of them involved impaired driving, whether that’s if somebody has been under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Those are the majority of the fatal crashes more recently. We have also had some crashes because of distracted driving,” he said.

Some drivers we spoke with say they have their own concerns when out on the road.

“The main thing for me is the distraction of the driver, the unwillingness of some drivers not wanting to yield the right of way, running red lights, and stop signs,” said Carol Nardini.

Staff at an auto body shop in the area says they’re seeing more vehicles coming in for repair.

“The accidents seem to be more severe than they have in the past. Probably 15 to 20 vehicles have been towed out of here this month which means we have no chance to repair them or anything,” said Victor Peterson, the general manager at the Corwin Collision Center.

The state patrol says many of the accidents are preventable.

“It takes the public to be able to make good decisions. 94% of all crashes involve human error,” said Niewind. “94% of crashes are preventable. We can drive that number down just by being better drivers and by paying attention to what we’re doing and following those rules of the road.”

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