An alarming statistic was recently released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that 8,730 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the first three months of 2021, a 10.5% increase from the 7,900 fatalities the agency projected for the first quarter of 2020. NHTSA Report
Compare this number to Montana where the Montana Department of Transportation reports that as of October 19, 2021 fatalities are up 14.8% compared to this time last year. There have been 191 fatalities on Montana highways in 2021 compared to 173 for this same time in 2020. MDT Vision Zero Report
Fatality numbers have increased in part due to the lack of seat belts being worn with risky behavior like speeding, impaired driving, and being distracted.
Montana also hasn't seen much snow as we head into winter which is expected to be cooler than normal and with above normal snowfall according to the NOAA Climate Prediction Center. But the snow will be flying sooner than later which will make driving even riskier. Read our tips for safe driving in Montana Winters.
NHTSA Deputy Administrator Dr. Steven Cliff puts it best, "It's a reminder of what hundreds of millions of people can do every day, right now, to combat this: Slow down, wear seat belts, drive sober, and avoid distractions behind the wheel. All of us must work together to stop aggressive, dangerous driving and help prevent fatal crashes."
If you need to report a problem on a Montana Highway you can contact the Montana Department of Transportation at 1-855-647-3777 for emergencies or fill out their online form.
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