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How safe are Montana roads?

If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident in Montana, even a relatively minor fender bender, you know all too well how upsetting these events can be. When a crash leaves one or more people with serious injuries or, even worse, results in the death of a person, the experience becomes even more fraught with challenges for those involved. While vehicle safety features have improved and laws are designed to keep people safe, there are still many people who end up dying unnecessarily in accidents every year.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1,021 people lost their lives on Montana roads and highways between 2013 and 2017. Excessive speed and alcohol were noted factors in 339 and 382 of these deaths, respectively. Large commercial trucks, like tractor-trailers, were involved in 97 of the fatalities. Of the people who died, 122 were on motorcycles and 72 were pedestrians. 

Missoula County was the location of 82 of the vehicular fatalities recorded within this five-year period. Again, speeding and impairment by alcohol were cited as primary factors in many of the deaths, claiming 21 and 23 lives, respectively. Two fatalities involved a large truck. Eight of the people killed were pedestrians and another 13 of those who died were motorcyclists. These numbers highlight the need for a continued effort to improve safety and to seek assistance after a crash.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give residents in Montana an overview of the number of people killed in various types of motor vehicle accidents statewide and in Missoula County.

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