Car Crashes Stats – Montana
There was a total of 185 motor vehicle fatalities on Montana roadways in 2016. This was a 13% decline from 224 fatalities in 2015. However, the first quarter of 2016 reported 33 deaths compared to 13 deaths during the same period in 2015.
For a very long time now, Montana has had one of the highest fatality rates in the United States. 229 people were killed in 2013 and 192 in 2014. Overall, Montana's traffic fatality rate is 1.58 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2014. This is the third highest, and quite high when compared to the national average of 1.08.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that Montana has the highest accident fatality rate in the U.S with 22.6 deaths per 100,000 people. This is twice the national average. The state has a reputation for irresponsible, unsafe, drunken and distracted drivers. That is also why insurance rates in this state are quite high. Drivers spend nearly 17% more on their vehicle as compared to other states.
Causes of High Fatalities in Montana
The primary reasons cited for high fatalities in Montana include speeding, unrestrained drivers, and passengers and impaired driving. Unrestrained passenger vehicle fatalities equaled to 114 while 75 fatalities were alcohol-related and 91 were speed-related. A total of 3,209 seat belt citations were issued in 2015, and 415 impaired driving arrests were made. 9,665 speeding citations were also issued during the same year. Speed related fatalities nearly doubled from 52 in 2014 to 91 in 2015.
58% of road deaths in the state were due to impaired driving. This was a significant increase from 47% in 2014.
Another reason for car crashes may be Montana's long rural roads that can stretch on for miles and miles. Since there is little traffic, drivers tend to speed up which often proves deadly for them. Lack of transportation in these rural areas can also prove to be a problem especially if a driver is drunk but unable to call a cab or take the subway.
Weather and gas prices also play a role in car crashes. Lower gas prices have generally been found to result in more wrecks as there are more drivers on the roads. On the other hand, tamer winters generally see fewer road fatalities since driving conditions are relatively better.
Deer collisions constitute another safety issue on Montana roads. The state ranked second (after West Virginia) nationwide in deer collisions with odds of one in 58.