- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 25, 2014

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - Fatalities in car wrecks on South Dakota highways so far this year have almost doubled compared to the same period in 2013.

The state’s Department of Public Safety says 24 people have died in crashes in 2014. The state recorded 13 highway fatalities during the first two months of 2013.

Lee Axdahl with the South Dakota Office of Highway Safety says frequent snowfalls have created road conditions that may have contributed to the crashes. Axdahl notes that half of this year’s victims were not wearing seatbelts.

Axdahl says it is still “difficult” to understand that some people still drive without buckling up first.

Axdahl said alcohol, speeding, and overdriving road conditions in bad weather also contributed to several of the wrecks.

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