In 2012, 205 people were killed in Montana due to a fatal car accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of traffic fatalities in 2012 was down just slightly from the previous year.
It is important to note that even just one death on the road is one too many. In a number of cases, these incidents are preventable. To uncover the behaviors that lead to these accidents, the Auto Insurance Center studied data from the NHTSA’s Fatal Accident Reporting System. Analyzing numbers from 2009 to 2013, the AIC studied the deadly driving behaviors behind these incidents, including the following:
- Failure to yield
- Lane departure
- Failure to adjust to road conditions or surface
- Making an improper turn
- Reckless driving
In the majority of states, failure to maintain a lane was cited as causing more fatal accidents than any other behavior. However, in Montana, failure to yield the right-of-way was found to have caused the most fatal crashes.
Cars in Montana are required to give the right-of-way under certain circumstances. For example, at a four-way stop or a stop that lacks signs or traffic signals, the vehicle to the left is required to give the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right. A vehicle making a left-hand turn is also required to give the right-of-way to oncoming traffic.
Instead of barreling through intersections or onto highways, drivers should always take caution and err on the side of safety. Failing to do so not only means breaking the law, but it could also result in a deadly accident.