Montana Department of Transportation officials want drivers to keep something in mind as they are traveling in the slushy, snow-covered roads across Montana for the holidays. NBC Montana says officials report so far there have been 221 fatalities on Montana's roadways so far this year, which is an increase over last year’s total of 192.

"It's really devastating that anyone would have to lose someone in that way," said Missoula resident Kendra Potter.

A majority of it can be prevented. Right now, numbers show 75 fatalities involved impaired driving and 141 not wearing a seat belt.

"Not buckling and drinking; it's a culture here in Montana but we’ve got to change our ways," said Clinton resident Don Hauge.

Safety has to start somewhere. Officials say wear a seat belt every time you get in a vehicle, no matter what.  It's a big push across Montana. In Missoula, there are signs around the city that say, "We care, buckle up."

If you are drinking, don't get behind the wheel. Make sure to have a sober ride home.

AAA will be providing Operation Tipsy Tow services from Dec. 18 through Jan. 3. They provide a safe and free ride home to those who are not sober. The service is offered in Helena, Kalispell, Whitefish, Livingston, Missoula, Bozeman and Hamilton. The number for the service is 1-800-AAA-HELP.