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What is the most dangerous form of transportation in Montana?

When an airliner crash, passenger train derailment or ship sinking claims hundreds of lives, the event becomes a major news story around the world. In the aftermath of such tragedies, safety advocates and politicians often call for new safety measures for the mode of transportation in question. Sometimes these calls are heeded and new regulations are enacted to prevent similar accidents in the future.

Yet despite the media attention given to these tragedies, most Montana residents are probably aware that statistically, motor vehicles are the most dangerous form of transportation. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, driving or riding in a motor vehicle is the most dangerous thing most Americans do on a regular basis. The numbers back this up: according to the D.O.T., traffic and highway accidents make up 93 percent of all transportation-related deaths in the U.S.

The good news is that over the past decade the number of motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. has declined by 20.2 percent. Unfortunately motorcycles have been an exception to this trend. Overall, private operators of vehicles have a worse safety record than for-hire carriers and professional drivers.

Negligent drivers remain one of the main causes of car accidents. Speeding, texting and driving, and other unsafe driving behaviors are major factors in accidents. Drunk drivers also continue to claim far too many lives.

When a Montana resident is killed in a car accident caused by a negligent driver their surviving family has a legal right to seek damages, including compensation for loss of support and loss of companionship. An experienced personal injury law firm can help the family throughout the legal process.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, "Transportation Safety by the Numbers," Matthew Chambers, accessed Aug. 30, 2015

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