It's a strong possibility that at some point this Memorial Day Weekend you'll be making a road trip somewhere.

And you won't be alone. Estimates say more than 37 million Americans will be traveling by car over the long weekend. That's two million more people than were on the road last year at this time.

Unfortunately, in South Dakota, the unofficial beginning of summer has been particularly deadly on the state's roadways.

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According to a new study by the car insurance savings app Jerry, South Dakota has the second highest traffic-related death toll during the Memorial Day holiday weekend of all the U.S. states per capita.

The data, from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. Census Bureau, shows that from 2012 to 2021 the Mount Rushmore State has 2.37 traffic-related deaths from 6:00 PM Friday through 6:00 AM Tuesday of Memorial Day Weekend.


  1. West Virginia: 2.96
  2. South Dakota: 2.37
  3. North Dakota: 2.31
  4. Louisiana: 2.24
  5. Mississippi: 2.16
  6. South Carolina: 2.10
  7. Arkansas: 2.09
  8. Oklahoma: 2.07
  9. Idaho: 2.06

The study also found:

  • Alcohol and speeding lead to deadly crashes. Alcohol was involved in 61% of all fatal crashes when a blood alcohol test was conducted, including 67% of deadly crashes involving 16 to 35-year-old victims. For fatal crashes when a BAC test wasn’t conducted, alcohol was involved 33% of the time. Speeding was involved in nearly one-third (31%) of fatal crashes, including more than half (52%) in which the victims were 16-35.
  • Nearly three-quarters (73%) of all victims were male, while males aged 16-35 accounted for nearly a third (32%) of all deaths.
  • Nearly half (48%) of the fatal crashes nationwide took place in rural areas. More than half (55%) involved a vehicle leaving the roadway. Only 12% took place on an interstate highway.

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