Fatalities on primary, urban, and rural Montana roads increased in 2018

Posted at 5:07 PM, Jan 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-14 19:15:25-05

Last week we reported that the total number of Montana interstate fatalities decreased in 2018. This is not the case, however, for primary, urban, and rural roads.

Primary roads like Highway 191 saw 80 fatalities last year, 10 more than what the state saw in 2017. Urban and rural roads saw a combined 57 fatalities, which was 11 more than the prior year.

Montana Highway Patrol says that the roads may be having issues keeping up with the growing number of drivers.

“At some point, we’re going to exceed the capacity of those roads, and I think that’s what we’re starting to see now, is those roads are engineered for so many cars and once the traffic increases above that, the likelihood of having a crash increases, and the likelihood of having serious crashes increases,” said Montana Highway Patrol Sergeant Patrick McLaughlin.

Fatal accidents due to alcohol also rose last year.

Reporting by Carson Vickroy for MTN News