The first of two Highway patrol reports detailing the year to year fatality rate on Montana's roads came out this week with sobering news. Interstate fatalities were up by 150 percent while casualties on the states secondary roads (two lane) skyrocketed with a 350 percent increase.

Western Region Commander for the Highway Patrol Major Greg Watson says "Obviously we've had an increase in 2012 from 2011 . . . I don't know exactly why the trend has increased this year, the only thing I can say is that this year is consistent with our fatalities in past years in that [leading causes are] unrestrained drivers driving too fast for the road conditions."

So far this year, alcohol has been a factor in 28 crash related deaths and speed has been a factor in 38. In stark contrast, the lack of a safety belt has resulted in over 80 fatalities. Below is the complete report.

 

MONTANA HIGHWAY PATROL

Fatality Crash Information

01 January through 09 July

For 2011 and 2012

Crashes Deaths Crashes Deaths Crash Percentage Death Percentage

INTERSTATE  7  8  18  20 + 157.14% + 150.00%

PRIMARY 37 41 32 34 - 13.51% - 17.07%

RURAL 9 9 22 23 + 144.44% + 155.56%

SECONDARY 3 4 17 17 + 466.67% + 325.00%

URBAN 7 9 8 9 + 14.29%   0.00%

Total 63 71 97 103 + 53.97% + 45.07%

 

Crashes Deaths Crashes Deaths Crashes Deaths

Alcohol a Factor 14 15 27 28 + 92.86% + 86.67%

Speed a Factor 20 23 34 38 + 70.00% + 65.22%

One Vehicle Crashes 35 37 73 78 + 108.57% + 110.81%

Seat Belts not Used* 48 54 77 83 + 60.42% + 53.70%

Other than Dry Roads 26 29 10 11 - 61.54% - 62.07%

Commercial Vehicle Involved 7 10 8 9 + 14.29% - 10.00%

Hazardous Materials Involved 0 0 2 2   0.00%   0.00%

Motorcycle Involved 7 8 12 13 + 71.43% + 62.50%

Bicycle Involved 0 0 0 0   0.00%   0.00%

Pedestrian Involved 1 1 4 4 + 300.00% + 300.00%

Out-of-State Veh. Involved 17 18 21 21 + 23.53% + 16.67%

Occurred during Daylight Hrs 24 25 54 56 + 125.00% + 124.00%

* This field applies only to fatalities. If ANY person killed was NOT wearing a seat belt, this field is set to NO.

Monday, July 09, 2012 Page 1 of 1

 

M.H.P. FATALITY COUNT

For the Period 01/01/2012 through 07/09/2012

DISTRICT 1 - MISSOULA DISTRICT 2 - GREAT FALLS

Route 2012 2011 2010 AVE. Route 2012 2011 2010 AVE.

INTERSTATE 4 0 2 2.0 INTERSTATE 1 0 2 1.0

PRIMARY 1 6 6 4.3 PRIMARY 4 4 3 3.7

RURAL 1 1 1 1.0 RURAL 2 2 0 1.3

SECONDARY 3 1 0 1.3 SECONDARY 1 0 1 0.7

URBAN 2 2 0 1.3 URBAN 1 0 1 0.7

TOTAL 11 10 9 10.0 TOTAL 9 6 7 7.3

DISTRICT 3 - BUTTE DISTRICT 4 - BILLINGS

Route 2012 2011 2010 AVE. Route 2012 2011 2010 AVE.

INTERSTATE 3 4 4 3.7 INTERSTATE 5 0 4 3.0

PRIMARY 6 2 1 3.0 PRIMARY 2 4 2 2.7

RURAL 2 2 8 4.0 RURAL 5 1 4 3.3

SECONDARY 3 0 1 1.3 SECONDARY 3 1 2 2.0

URBAN 1 0 0 0.3 URBAN 4 6 2 4.0

TOTAL 15 8 14 12.3 TOTAL 19 12 14 15.0

DISTRICT 5 - GLENDIVE DISTRICT 6 - KALISPELL

Route 2012 2011 2010 AVE. Route 2012 2011 2010 AVE.

INTERSTATE 3 2 1 2.0 INTERSTATE 0 0 0 0.0

PRIMARY 6 8 4 6.0 PRIMARY 4 12 15 10.3

RURAL 2 1 3 2.0 RURAL 3 0 3 2.0

SECONDARY 2 2 1 1.7 SECONDARY 0 0 0 0.0

URBAN 0 0 0 0.0 URBAN 1 0 0 0.3

TOTAL 13 13 9 11.7 TOTAL 8 12 18 12.7

DISTRICT 7 - BOZEMAN DISTRICT 8 - Havre

Route 2012 2011 2010 AVE. Route 2012 2011 2010 AVE.

INTERSTATE 4 2 1 2.3 INTERSTATE 0 0 0 0.0

PRIMARY 7 4 0 3.7 PRIMARY 4 1 8 4.3

RURAL 1 1 2 1.3 RURAL 7 1 1 3.0

SECONDARY 3 0 1 1.3 SECONDARY 2 0 2 1.3

URBAN 0 1 1 0.7 URBAN 0 0 0 0.0

TOTAL 15 8 5 9.3 TOTAL 13 2 11 8.7

DISTRICT TOTAL

Route 2012 2011 2010 AVE.

INTERSTATE 20 8 14 14.0

PRIMARY 34 41 39 38.0

RURAL 23 9 22 18.0

SECONDARY 17 4 8 9.7

URBAN 9 9 4 7.3

TOTAL 103 71 87 87.0