We had another sobering reminder this week as to how deadly our roadways can be with a triple fatality accident west of Sioux Falls. But, big picture, the road death numbers in South Dakota are declining.

According to numbers from National Safety Council, when you compare the first six months of 2019 with the same time period in 2018, fatalities on South Dakota roads are down 49 percent. The second-biggest drop in the nation.

LARGEST DECREASES IN ROADWAY FATALITIES - JAN.-JUN. 2019 vs. 2018  (National Safety Council) 

  1. Vermont (-58%)
  2. South Dakota (-49%)
  3. Connecticut (-25%)
  4. Nevada (-22%)
  5. New Hampshire (-21%)
  6. Oklahoma (-18%)
  7. Mississippi (-16%)
  8. West Virginia (-14%)
  9. Colorado (-13%)
  10. Illinois (12%)

At the other end of the spectrum, Wyoming, Maine, and Hawaii all saw motor vehicle deaths climb by at least 20 percent. Wyoming's rate we 45 to 80 fatalities, a gain of 78%.

Nationally, roadway deaths were down three percent through the first six months of this year, with 16 states and the District of Columbia reporting drops of at least ten percent.