Montana Fatal Pedestrian Accidents

Montana Fatal Pedestrian Accidents

The number of fatal motor vehicle accidents has fallen greatly over the past 40 years across the country, yet the number of pedestrians killed by vehicles has remained has remained stubbornly high. In fact, 15 percent of all crash-related deaths are people who are walking or jogging by a road.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in almost every year from 2006 to 2015, an average of 13 pedestrians died in traffic crashes. In fact, the number of fatalities jumped from a low of 8 deaths in 2010 and 2012 to 24 deaths in 2013 alone. Unfortunately, 14 pedestrians died in motor vehicle crashes in 2015.

The most disturbing issue surrounding these deaths is that they are all preventable. In Montana, the number of walkers and joggers who are killed by motor vehicles every year proves that more engineering measures are needed to separate pedestrians and traffic. Some of these measures include more sidewalks, over- and underpasses, refuge islands, and traffic barriers.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that several more measures could decrease the number of individuals who are killed in traffic accidents including –

  • Better lighting
  • Alert beacons
  • Improved traffic signal timing
  • Reduced speeds

Though most Montana counties did not lose any joggers, walkers, or runners, ten suffered one pedestrian death in 2015, and two counties had two deaths.

Though the state has much to do to improve traffic safety for the most vulnerable road users, drivers could eliminate most pedestrian deaths from the tally simply by staying focused on driving and being aware of what’s going on around them. Some new vehicle models have crash avoidance features that can detect someone in front of or behind the vehicle, and some will even apply the brakes before striking an individual. However, the effectiveness of these technologies is not yet known.

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