Personal Injury Lawyer Billings, Montana
(406) 606-1650

Staying Safe on Montana's Roads This Holiday Season

Snow plow removing snow dissolving from the roadway and sprinkling salt on the road.

A Billings Car Accident Attorney Offers Tips to Montana Drivers

Holidays are a time of increased travel as people go the distance to be with their loved ones, which means it's also a time where the risk of car accidents is higher.

Nationwide, about 12,610 fatal crashes have happened around the winter holidays over the last 10 years, according to a new study by ValuePenguin. The research confirms what many people suspect: alcohol and speeding are major factors that often lead to deadly holiday crashes. These two risky driving behaviors were identified in nearly one-third of crashes during the years studied (2010-2019).

Holiday Car Accidents

In Montana, the numbers are a bit different. About one-third of holiday crashes involve alcohol here, but even more — 42% — involve speeding.

The research by Valuepenguin also found that in most states, including Montana, there are more accidents around Christmas than Thanksgiving. (The study did not analyze crash reports around other winter holidays.) Over the 10 years studied, there were 57 fatal crashes around the holidays in Montana — 23 near Thanksgiving and 34 around Christmas.

If you're planning to do any traveling around the holidays this year, there are some things you can do to stay safe on Montana roadways.

Holiday Safety Tips For Montana Drivers

The most deadly types of car accidents are head-on collisions and crashes involving large trucks, such as semis, tractor-trailers, and garbage trucks. Other fatal accident types include T-bone collisions, multi-vehicle pileups, rollovers, rear-end crashes, and those that involve distracted drivers.

To avoid these types of crashes and other roadway hazards, the Montana Department of Transportation offers advice under its Vision Zero program. Vision Zero is a national commitment made by states, cities, and towns to do what they can to end fatal and serious car accidents.

  • Allow extra time to get to your destination. This reduces the pressure to speed or make risky turns in order to "be on time."
  • Clear off your car. Do not start driving before you have properly removed snow, ice, and slush from your vehicle. Do not expect speed, wind, or defrosters to clean your vehicle off as you drive.
  • Do not use cruise control.
  • Slow down in poor visibility conditions. Speeding isn't just going over the posted limit. It is also considered speeding when a person drives too fast to maintain control of their vehicle.
  • Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles. Don't tailgate.
  • Expect ice on bridges and shady spots and adjust driving accordingly.
  • Do not pass snowplows. Plow drivers have limited visibility. They will occasionally pull over to let vehicles behind them pass.
  • Do not drink and drive. Driving intoxicated or impaired can cause serious injury and even death. Impairment covers more than drugs and alcohol. A person can be too impaired to drive if they are overtired or hazy from illness, for example.

Crash Victims Deserve Compensation

Car crashes, especially those involving alcohol and/or speeding, are often violent. They can be deadly and cause serious, life-altering injuries. In general, the faster a vehicle is moving at the time of impact, the more damage it will cause. Every 1% increase in mean speed produces a 4% increase in the fatal crash risk and a 3% increase in the serious crash risk, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

It is important for people who are injured or lose loved ones in car accidents to understand their legal rights. Crash victims may be entitled to compensation for things like crash-related medical expenses, ongoing treatment and therapies, property damage, missed wages, and other losses. In the case of wrongful death, surviving family members are often entitled to compensation for emergency medical treatment of the deceased, funeral expenses, loss of lifetime contributions and companionship from the deceased, among other damages.

Legal Help Is Available

A bad crash during the holidays has the potential to leave you seriously injured, out of work, and searching for answers. If you were injured or a loved one died in a crash due to the negligent actions of another driver, you should talk to an experienced car accident attorney who knows how to protect the rights of crash victims in Montana.

At Braukmann Law, PLLC, attorney Matt Braukmann has the knowledge, experience, and resources to aggressively advocate for your best interests and fight for the compensation you're entitled to. Don't let an insurance adjuster try to minimize the impact of your accident or injuries. Take control and let our law firm deal with them instead.

Find out how an experienced Billings car accident lawyer can help with your potential legal case. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Categories: Posts
Free Consultation

    Free Case Consultation