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A Recent Decline in Traffic Fatalities on Montana Roads

“A Step Closer to Montana Department of Transportation’s “Vision Zero.”

In 2014, for every 100 million miles driven in Montana, 1.58 traffic fatalities occurred. This was the third-highest rate in the country for that year, and far above the national mean of 1.08.

However this year, Montana traffic deaths are actually down. In-fact the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) said that there hasn’t been a traffic fatality on Montana roads in a full month—February 26 to March 29.

“Four weeks without anyone dying in a crash is certainly encouraging,” says Mike Tooley, director of the Montana Department of Transportation. According Tooley and the MDT, here are a few ways we can all prevent traffic fatalities this year:

  • Wear your seatbelt (as a driver and a passenger)

  • Drive sober or have a designated driver

  • Follow traffic laws, especially speed limits signs

  • Wear protective gear when driving motorcycles or ATVs

  • Refrain from texting or talking on your cell phone while driving

  • Be cognizant of work or construction zones

Last year at this time, accidents in Montana already claimed the lives of 29 drivers. As of April 2 of this year, only 19 traffic deaths have been tallied. This is a promising improvement that brings the state closer to the MDT’s official goal of zero Montana traffic deaths and zero serious injuries on the roads—also known as “Vision Zero.”

However, Tooley warns, “We are heading into the deadliest time of year on Montana roads. June through August is when more than half of all fatalities occur during a year…MDT will do our part to help make the roads as safe as possible, but we need everyone to be smart and safe when traveling. Even one death or serious injury is too many.”