BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — When we observe crash statistics in North Dakota, there are many factors that are taken into consideration — with some of the more commonly discussed ranging from the age of the driver to their blood alcohol content. But intriguingly, a new study suggests that even the type of car one drives can play a part in how likely they are to be involved in traffic accidents.

In a recent study, personal injury lawyers with Bader Scott analyzed North Dakota’s fatal crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and ranked the body types of the cars involved in the most serious accidents between 2017 and 2021. Below is a list of the top five types of vehicles most likely to get into crashes throughout ND:

RankVehicleNumber of Vehicles Involved in CrashesPercentage of Fatal Crashes
1Light Pickup17625.21%
2Four-Door Sedan11216.05%
3Compact Utility8011.46%
5Two-Wheel Motorcycle639.03%

According to Bader Scott’s research, light pickup trucks — which generally have a gross weight of up to 8,500 pounds and payload capacities of up to 4,000 pounds — are the most likely type of vehicle to be involved in a crash here in North Dakota. Over the past four years, light pickups have been involved in a grand total of 176 crashes in the Peace Garden state — and roughly 25% of all fatal accidents. These aren’t the only large automobiles to earn a spot on the list, either: four-door sedans, compact utility vehicles, and truck-tractors are also placed on the top five types of accident-prone vehicles.

The exact reason why these larger vehicles tend to be the cause of more accidents cannot fully be confirmed — but many, including Bader Scott, believe that it is because their larger size makes them more vulnerable to both striking other vehicles and being hit. It may be that there are simply more pickups driving in North Dakota than other vehicle types — more vehicles, more chances for an accident by the numbers. The consumer automotive information website iSeeCars says North Dakota ranks 3rd in the nation for the most pickup trucks in the automotive population, at 32 percent.

“Even though it’s impossible to rule out other factors such as road conditions and driver behavior,” comments a Brader Scott spokesperson in a press release, “it’s crucial to recognize that certain vehicle body types might be more vulnerable to serious crashes due to factors like size and design. Therefore, it’s important for drivers to be aware of this when on the road, and aim to drive in a way that helps to minimize risk”.

While it’s true that some vehicles are more likely to be involved in crashes than others, there are still plenty of steps anyone — regardless of their vehicle — can take to ensure they’re as safe as possible on the road. For a list of helpful hints on how to prevent traffic accidents, visit this page on Vision Zero’s website.