There is an understandable risk of an auto accident every time a person takes to the Montana roadways. This is true regardless of the steps people take to be vigilant, cautious and stay safe. Other drivers can behave recklessly, break the law and act in ways that lead to a crash.
Although it is not always possible to avoid an accident, it is important to be aware of the common causes of collisions that result in injuries and death. This can be helpful when considering making a personal injury claim.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released its most recent auto accident statistics for the
The release came at roughly the same time that Montana announced the state is considering a safety-oriented proposal to address a major catalyst for accidents.
NHTSA numbers show causes for most accidents in 2021
The NHTSA’s report regarding auto accidents in 2021 shows that almost 43,000 people were killed in collisions on national roads. This is the worst year for road fatalities since 2005. Factors that rose substantially in causing these crashes were impairment, driving at excessive speed and distracted driving.
The number of deaths increased by more than 10% from 2020. This is the worst year-to-year rise since 1975. Speeding fatalities were up by almost 8%. There were 13% more pedestrians killed than during the year before. Bicyclist fatalities spiked by 2%.
Distracted driving was involved in 12% of fatal accidents and more than 3,500 people lost their lives. This is the biggest concern of researchers, regulators, legislators and law enforcement. Troublingly 90% of all people asked stated they knew distracted driving was risky, but 80% said they did it anyway.
This information coincides with a recent debate in Montana about addressing distracted driving. Currently, Montana is one of two states that does not ban using a cellphone while driving. Educators try to emphasize the risk of distracted driving, but many ignore it thinking they can safely multitask.
The Montana Department of Transportation says there are 15 areas in the state that ban using the device when driving. A bill was proposed to disallow restrictions on using a cellphone except in areas where there was a hands-free law.
However, the bill has been shelved by the state House of Representatives. Law enforcement is for the banning of cellphones when driving, but the state is holding out with its reluctance to crack down on the behavior.
Know the importance of having help after an auto accident
As this shows, there are many reasons for an auto accident to happen and different laws in place to enforce safe driving. As the dispute on how to address distracted driving shows, people should not expect legislation or law enforcement to take sufficient steps to make the roads safer.
After an accident, injuries can cause extensive physical and emotional problems as people try to move forward. They will be saddled with costly medical debt and might have trouble getting back to work. When there is a fatality, families will need to consider what they will do without their loved one.
Whether the motor vehicle accident happened because of distraction, speeding, drowsiness, recklessness, drivers who were under the influence or any other reason, those impacted should learn about their legal options.