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Speeding Involved in 35% of Montana's Fatal Crashes

Man in a car running late and driving fast

A Billings car accident lawyer provides the details every driver in Montana should know

Montana has made great strides in reducing fatal car accidents, but deadly crashes caused by speeding still remain an issue.

In fact, 35% of all fatal crashes in Montana cite speeding as a factor, according to new research. For some years, speeding kills more people than drunk driving.

Over 10 years, the number of people killed by speeding each year ranged from 52 to 91, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2019, the year with the most recent crash data available, there were 57-speeding related deaths in Montana.

Montana fatal speeding-related accidents

It's not surprising that speeding is a major factor in many of the state's fatal accidents. Montana was the last state in the U.S. to establish speed limits. Up until 1975 (and again for several years in the 1990s), there were no speed limits in Montana.

Counties in Montana where speed-related crashes happen most frequently include Lake County and Cascade County, which report about 5-6 deaths annually. In Yellowstone County, there were 3 fatal speeding crashes in 2019, according to federal data.

Fatal crash hot spots

Speeding accidents tend to be concentrated in cities and along major highways, such as Kalispell, Missoula, Helena, and especially Billings.

Over the last several years, Billings has experienced fatal speeding-related car accidents at the following locations:

  • 6th Avenue at N 31st Street and at N 13th Street
  • Montana Avenue (I-90) at N 29th Street
  • Minnesota Avenue (MT-3) by the Montana Rail Link and Billings city line
  • Zimmerman Trail (in Zimmerman Park)
  • Shiloh Road at the Central Avenue circle by City College at Montana State University Billings

Montana's fast history

As the last state to make a speed limit, Montana's relationship with fast driving is complicated. Calls to remove all speed limits in the name of safety emerge every now and then.

For many crash victims and traffic safety advocates, the idea of removing speed limits in Montana isn't well-received. It's simply a matter of physics that the faster a vehicle is moving at the time of impact the more destruction it causes. For instance, a person who gets hit by a car has a 90% chance of surviving if the car was traveling around 20 to 25 mph. At 32 mph, a pedestrian's chance of survival is 50% after getting hit by a car.

In short, your odds of surviving a bad accident go down as speeds go higher.

Common injuries suffered by high-speed crash victims include:

  • Whiplash
  • Severe cuts, lacerations, and punctures
  • Burn injuries
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs), including concussions and permanent cognitive damage
  • Broken bones and fractures in the arms, legs, and chest including the fibula, tibia, ulna, radius, ribs and clavicle
  • Internal bleeding and/or organ damage
  • Spinal Cord Injuries (SCIs) including herniated or slipped discs and never damage
  • Partial or permanent paralysis
  • Muscle, tendon, and ligament tears
  • Emotional injuries, such as increased levels of anxiety and depression or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Legal help for Montana crash victims

Speeding is a choice, and this type of reckless behavior should be avoided. When people drive recklessly and injure others in preventable car accidents, it is important that they be held responsible for their negligence.

If you were injured or a loved one died in a crash caused by a driver who was speeding or otherwise driving recklessly, you can get a clear understanding of your legal rights and options by consulting with an experienced car accident lawyer who knows how the civil justice system works in Montana.

At Braukmann Law, PLLC, attorney Matt Braukmann goes the extra mile for his clients and takes pride in fighting for the rights of crash victims in Montana. Don't let an insurance adjuster pressure you into accepting a lowball settlement offer or try to downplay the severity of your injuries. Fight back and get an attorney in your corner who won't let insurance adjusters push you around.

Contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced Billings car accident attorney.


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