If you’re interested in the risks of driving and the odds of getting seriously injured in a crash, it is important to look at the statistics for the specific area where you drive. National statistics can help to paint a broad picture, but you should never assume that the driving conditions in California or New York are all that similar to the conditions in Montana. There are stark differences that you must take into account.
Fortunately, the government breaks up crash data by state, and so their reports can shed light on your specific risks. Let’s take a look at some of these critical statistics.
Deadly accidents by year
First of all, to see how fatal accidents are trending in Montana, it’s important to look at the differences from year to year. The most recent information on record dates back to 2017. Here are the yearly totals up until then, going back over roughly a decade:
- 2008: 229 traffic fatalities
- 2009: 221
- 2010: 189
- 2011: 209
- 2012: 205
- 2013: 229
- 2014: 192
- 2015: 224
- 2016: 190
- 2017: 186
As you can see, the fatality totals have fallen in recent years, but the overall numbers have stayed roughly the same. The 186 deaths in 2017 are not that much different from the 189 deaths in 2010. If the trend continues and the numbers keep falling, the state could make significant headway, but it’s hard to know for sure at this point.
Differences in rural and urban roads
One thing to consider is specifically where you drive within the state. While the city may seem more dangerous with the higher levels of traffic congestion, the lower speed limits save a lot of lives. It is vastly more dangerous to drive on rural roads.
For instance, in 2017, just 19 fatalities happened on urban streets. The other 167 deaths for the year took place on rural roads. That trend is very consistent from year to year.
As noted, one of the big issues is speed. Crashes happen in the city, to be sure, but you have a lot more minor accidents at low speeds. Rural roads see a lot more crashes at 55 miles per hour and above, and those are simply more likely to result in a fatality.
Of course, the makeup of the state also plays a role. Much of Montana is rural, so drivers naturally see more exposure to risk on these roads, regardless of how they drive.
Have you gotten injured in an accident or has a loved one lost their life? If so, it is critical that you know exactly what legal rights you have.