(KXNET) — Preliminary data from the North Dakota Department of Transportation indicates nearly 67 percent of the motor vehicle deaths so far in 2022 were among unbelted drivers or passengers.

Transportation department officials say seat belts are the single most effective safety device to prevent death and injury in a motor vehicle crash.

“As travel increases, it is vital to take a moment to buckle up. The best way to protect yourself against serious injury and death is wearing your seat belt,” said NDDOT Highway Safety Division Director, Karin Mongeon.

Preliminary fatality data through June 30, 2022 also indicates:

  • 18 fatalities were lane departure-related, a decrease of nearly 31% from the same period in 2021.
  • 12 fatalities were speed-related, a decrease of 29% from the same period in 2021.
  • 10 fatalities were motorcyclists, an increase of nearly 67% from the same period in 2021.