North Dakota has had its deadliest year on its roads in more than 30 years, with 168 people dying in 146 crashes on roads within the state.
The Bismarck Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/UIUgct) that North Dakota hadn't topped 150 traffic fatalities since 1981.
North Dakota Highway Patrol Sgt. Tom Iverson says the 2012 traffic statistics can partially be attributed to more people driving and more miles being driven in the state. Statistics from the state Department of Transportation show a steady increase in miles traveled and registered vehicles.
The 2012 fatality tally is 20 higher than 2011 and 63 higher than 2010.
Iverson says busier roads, especially in western North Dakota's oil country, contribute to the jump. Alcohol and failure to wear seat belts also play a part.