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Severe winter weather results in safe driving warning

As Montana gets pummeled with cold weather, local law enforcement officers and the highway patrol are asking drivers to slow down. After the state got hit with cold weather before New Year's Day, numerous vehicle accidents happened along Interstate 90 because of the hazardous conditions. One collision involved a plow truck and a passenger car on Dec. 28, close to mile marker 87.

The plow truck was heading back to refuel when a passenger car tried to pass it. However, rather than passing the plow truck, the passenger car lost control. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the collision, but the highway patrol wants the incident to serve as a reminder to all drivers that severe winter driving conditions are not the time to drive aggressively or try to pass slower-moving vehicles.

In total, 48 winter accidents happened in Mineral County alone between the dates of Dec. 26 and 28. There have been 184 vehicle-related fatalities in Montana in 2017.

Through the Montana Highway Patrol Accident Awareness Program, troopers are trying to get the word out so drivers operate their cars more responsibly during the cold winter months. According to a Montana Highway Patrol colonel, "It's critical for their safety and the safety of others" for drivers to slow down.

Not only will driving slower in harsh winter driving conditions help save lives, but it could also keep you from getting in trouble with the law. Ultimately, if you caused a car accident because you weren't driving in a way that was appropriate given the road conditions, you could end up being financially liable for the injuries and financial damages that result.

Source: p-mi.com, "Montana Highway Patrol Reminds Drivers to Slow Down Near Plows, Emergency Responders," Kathleen Woodford, Jan. 03, 2018

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