Why is Driving in Montana So Dangerous?
There are many cities across the United States that have a reputation of having bad drivers. Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and New York City usually top the list of where many people that are timid drivers do not want to be forced to drive. It is probably surprising to find out that Montana recently was named the 3rd most dangerous state for drivers.
Montana ranks in the top 5 states for speeding and drunk driving fatalities. A total of .186 fatalities were found per 1000 drivers in the state, and only New Mexico and North Dakota had higher rates.
Billings car accident attorney Ragain & Cook, P.C. has found that human error is the most common cause of automobile accidents. Human error is most often caused by distracted driving and being reckless.
There is no statewide law that makes distracted driving illegal in Montana. The only other states that have not passed a ban are Arizona and South Carolina. However, in Montana distracted driving is illegal in certain cities such as Bozeman, Butte, Helena, Whitefish, Billings, and Missoula.
In 2015, I-90 through Montana was named the most dangerous road in America. This stretch of road has dramatically more drunk driving car accidents than any other road across the country. Other rural areas such as Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, and South Dakota topped the list. Rural areas tend to make drivers feel more comfortable about driving under the influence, not wearing their seatbelt, and texting while driving. They also have less opportunity to find safe and affordable public transportation if they are intoxicated.
It can be argued that tourists driving in these areas can skew the results slightly. Interstates are the most dangerous roads for car accidents, but are also the most heavily used by tourists while traveling. This is especially important to consider when roads are more populated during summer months. The 100 days following Memorial Day has proven to be the deadliest days for teen drivers when more drivers find themselves driving roads they might not be as familiar with.
It is important to realize though that many people that live in Montana have laws that are much more relaxed than almost every other state. In addition to not having a ban on distracted driving, drivers will not be pulled over for not wearing a seat belt. Many people in Montana grow up with a relaxed sense of safety surrounding these issues, and it leads many of them to be dangerous drivers.
Regardless of where you go on your next road trip be sure to remember these important defensive driving techniques to keep you safe.
- Stay Alert and Focused
- Be Aware of Your Surroundings
- Never Assume Other Drivers Will Do the Right Thing
- Maintain a Safe Driving Distance
- Obey Speed Limits
- Plan Ahead