Railroads play an important part in Montana's economy. Long freight trains carry the state's oil, coal and agricultural products to markets throughout the nation. But trains can be deadly, especially where their tracks cross roads and highways. There are over 3,500 railroad crossings in Montana. The nonprofit group Operation Lifesaver has published some safety tips that can help prevent death and serious injury to motorists.
Montana is a big state, and most Montanans are used to driving long distances. When traffic on rural highways is light, a person can save a lot of time by driving fast. Four Montana state legislators are now working on separate bills that would increase the daytime speed limit on interstates in Montana to 80 m.p.h. and in the case of one stretch of road, 85 m.p.h.
Like almost every state, Montana requires all vehicle owners to carry liability insurance or post an indemnity bond to cover bodily injury damages resulting from an accident. Owners of fleets of 25 or more vehicles can provide a certificate of self-insurance if they have sufficient resources to pay a judgment arising out of an accident. The insurance must provide liability coverage for bodily injuries in the amounts of $25,000 per person injured and $50,000 per accident. Unfortunately, many drivers in Montana drive without insurance, in violation of the law.
Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable when they are involved in a collision with a larger vehicle. Sometimes they can be injured just by trying to get out of the way of a negligent driver. That appears to be what happened in a recent accident that occurred on Highway 312 and 12 Mile Road, northeast of Billings.
A violent car collision disturbed the peace of a Billings residential neighborhood and sent two people to the hospital about a week ago. Billings Police say speed and alcohol were involved, and they are investigating it as a drunk driving accident.
No one ever plans on having a car accident. When it happens, an injured victim can feel shock, confusion and anxiety about medical expenses, lost time from work, and future pain and disability. Fortunately, those who are injured in an auto accident caused by a negligent driver have legal remedies under Montana law.
A horse trailer that broke loose from its trailer hitch caused a fatal auto accident in Glacier County recently. According to the Montana Highway Patrol, a 28-year-old man from Missoula was the victim.
Car accidents can leave injured victims feeling shocked and bewildered. When the accident is caused by a negligent driver who flees the scene, that shock and bewilderment can turn to outrage.
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.
A head-on collision is one of the deadliest types of car accidents. Tragically, this was shown to be true in a recent crash just west of Bozeman that killed two drivers.