North Dakota sees largest national increase in traffic deaths

WASHINGTON — Traffic deaths nationally were down last year to their lowest level since record-keeping began in 1949.

But not in North Dakota, where they were up 41%, the biggest increase of any state.

Fourteen states, including California, recorded an increase in motor vehicle fatalities, even though the 32,367 traffic deaths last year were down 1.9% from the previous year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The traffic safety agency this year projected a record low in 2011 traffic deaths as motorists drove less, perhaps because of high gas prices and a still-difficult economy. On Monday, the agency released updated numbers, confirming 1.10 deaths for every 100 million vehicle miles traveled.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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