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Crash injuries and fatalities continue to be some of the most serious public health issues facing our country. Communities and organizations can use the countermeasures listed below to help save lives and spread highway safety awareness across South Dakota.


  • Promote awareness of the risks of this behavior through educational campaigns
  • Initiate employer policies and programs, especially for employer-owned fleet vehicles
  • Include distracted driving education as a component of classroom activities and driver education


  • Schedule sobriety checkpoints following protocols established by statute and best practices
  • Schedule high-visibility saturation patrols during events and calendar dates where impaired driving is suspected
  • Inform the public of dangers through educational campaigns and attempt to establish positive social norms
  • Increase the push for additional designated drivers


  • Schedule publicized enforcement in areas where crash data shows speed as a significant contributing factor
  • Inform the public of dangers through educational campaigns and attempt to establish safer driving
  • Utilize automated speed boards to inform drivers they are exceeding posted limits


  • Educate public on awareness of risk
  • Educate employers on issues and research policies and programs
  • Work with transportation officials on rumble strips, signage, lighting and other roadway surface issues
  • Support in-vehicle technology to enhance forward collision warning systems, crash-imminent braking, and lane departure warnings


  • Correctly using a child restraint for a young child or wearing a seat belt by older children and adults is the single most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes.
  • Lap and shoulder belts, when used, reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45% and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 50% (NHTSA 2001)
  • For light truck occupants, seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 60% and moderate-to-critical injury by 65% (NHTSA 2009a).
  • Child restraints reduce fatalities by 71% for infants younger than 1 year old by 54% for children 1 to 4 years old in passenger cars.

Countermeasures that work

  • Seat belt enforcement by law enforcement agencies.  Although South Dakota is currently a secondary enforcement state, if a vehicle is stopped for a moving violation and passengers are observed without seat belts, citations should also be issued for this violation.
  • Employer programs are also effective when employees are utilizing fleet vehicles.
  • Utilize education and communication outreach efforts to create strategies for low-belt-use demographics.
  • Utilize school and driver education programs to discuss the importance of seat belt usage.

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