Earlier this year we published a post in this blog discussing the severity of Montana's drunk driving problem. Statistics indicate that Montana has the second-highest rate of drunk driving deaths of all the states in the U.S. Drunk drivers have caused untold amounts of suffering to Montana families.
Drivers on the road today are cautioned to watch out for distracted, negligent or even intoxicated drivers. Pedestrians can become car accident victims can become victims when they on the road or even walking in an area near moving vehicles. Such was the case in Missoula recently.
Most Montanans know that drunk driving is a serious public safety problem. But many may not realize that Montana has one of the most serious drunk driving problems in the nation. Data from 2012 shows that Montana ranked second among all states in drunk driving fatalities per 100,000 people. In 2012 there were nine deaths due to drunk driving accidents per 100,000 population in Montana. The only state that fared worse was North Dakota, with 10.3 deaths per 100,000 population.
The New Year brought some encouraging news for Montana residents. The Montana Highway Patrol reported that the number of people killed on the state's roads in 2014 was significantly fewer than in 2013. Motor vehicle accidents claimed 192 lives in 2014 as compared to 229 in 2013, a 16 percent drop.
The sudden loss of a loved one in an auto accident is devastating for family members. When the loved one was killed in a drunk driving accident, in addition to shock and grief there is usually a desire to see justice done.
Intoxicated drivers are a major cause of serious injury and death on Montana Roads. Billings police believe a drunk driver was the cause of a car accident at the intersection of Rehberg Lane and Grand Avenue last Sunday evening. The crash sent two individuals to the hospital.
A group of four people returning from their 20-year high school reunion met with tragedy on a Montana highway recently. One was killed and the other three suffered injuries in an accident that may have been caused by drunk driving.
A person driving a pickup or an SUV on a Montana highway is piloting two tons of steel at speeds that often hit 70 mph or more. It's a serious responsibility, and one most drivers take for granted. But throw alcohol into the mix and the potential for serious injury or death becomes very real. Authorities believe drinking may have been a factor in a recent head-on-collision near Kalispell that killed two people.
In a Yellowstone County courtroom recently, the children of an elderly couple killed by a drunk driver spoke poignantly about what it was like to lose their parents. The couple's son spoke of his father asking repeatedly for his wife in the intensive care unit. When he was told that she had died in the accident, he became silent. He died three months later, without ever leaving the hospital. A daughter spoke of her parents as good people who deserved justice. The judge sentenced the driver, a 54-year-old Broadview woman, to prison.
The holiday season should be a time of relaxation and family togetherness. Unfortunately, December is one of the worst months in Montana for drunk driving accidents. For those who lose a loved one in a car accident caused by a drunk driver over the holiday season, future holidays will probably never be the same.