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Report: Dakotans are deadly on their roads

Several Northern Plains states — including the Dakotas — are among the highest in the nation for most traffic deaths per miles driven, according to a new report.

A new study conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute found North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming were among states in the “high” category of traffic deaths per miles driven. This category has 13.25 or more deaths per one billion miles driven.

Meanwhile, Minnesota had one of the lowest rates, placing in the “low” category at fewer than 10 deaths per billion miles. Iowa ranked in the “medium” category at between 10 and 13.25 deaths per million miles driven.

West Virginia had the highest rate at 17.63 deaths per billion miles driven while the District of Columbia had the lowest at 4.2 deaths per billion.

South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming also were in the “high” category for traffic deaths per capita (13.04 or more deaths per 100,000 people), while Iowa was in the “medium” category (9.1 to 13.04 deaths per 100,000) and Minnesota was in the “low” rankings (fewer than 9.1 deaths per 100,000).

North Dakota ranked highest at 24.3 deaths per 100,000 people while the District of Columbia was again lowest at 2.27 deaths per 100,000.

South Dakota and Wyoming did have some good news, however, ranking in the “high reduction” category in reducing fatality rates per distance driven. North Dakota again ranked poorly in the “low reduction or increase” category, with a 3.8 percent increase in deaths per miles driven.