Thanksgiving is generally a time when families get together and celebrate. Many motorists travel during this time, and inclement weather conditions can make it difficult to get to one’s destination. As the roads are filled with holiday travelers, it is crucial that people take caution when navigating the roadways around other motorists. While it is generally a happy time of year, unfortunate tragedies occur.
People in Montana enjoy some of the most amazing natural beauty to be experienced anywhere in the country. The wide open roads can bring a sense of freedom and safety that sometimes is not accurate. Whether in town or on rural roads, car accidents can and do happen and may cause serious, lifelong injuries or even death. Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that vehicular fatalities across Montana have actually declined. While this is very positive, clearly more is needed to continue this trend and too many people continue to die on Montana roads and highways.
Your livelihood depends on your ability to perform certain tasks. At the very least, you probably have to be able to make it to work every day. An unexpected accident could put your way of life at risk.
When parents are teaching their new teenage driver about the risks of driving, they often focus on factors such as inclement weather, recklessness and distraction. One of the most dangerous behaviors to participate in while driving is texting. Parents who wish to educate their children about this extreme hazard may sometimes be conflicted about the right way to bring it up. However, their proactivity in doing so can be all that it takes to encourage a new generation of safe drivers in Montana.
A number of elderly drivers in the nation put other motorists at risk while on the road. Motorists who are over the age of 65 were involved in over 6,700 deadly car accidents in 2016 alone, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. The District of Columbia and 33 states have regulations in place, requiring elderly drivers to go through a different licensing process than other motorists. States may restrict online registration, require elderly drivers to come in for vision and/or road tests or have them renew their drivers licenses more frequently. In Montana, drivers over the age of 75 must renew their licenses every four years, as opposed to every eight years, which is regular renewal length.
Although driving requires the full attention of the person operating the vehicle, the number of people who apply their full concentration on the road while driving is dwindling. It isn’t uncommon to see motorists engaged in many distractive activities while behind the wheel. These activities include texting and/or talking on a cellphone, checking email, posting status updates, and even attempting to take pictures of themselves while driving.
Not only is aggressive driving a problem on Montana roadways, it is also an issue for drivers throughout most of the United States. People’s lives can get stressful and some take their anxiety and anger out on the road. When people become stuck in traffic day after day, are late to an important appointment or just irritated with other drivers in general, they may snap and take their rage out on an unsuspecting motorist. Aggressive driving behaviors put the lives of motorists at risk, as well as the lives of everyone else on the road.
During the Fourth of July, many people celebrate the holiday by lighting fireworks or attending a large display. While these celebrations can be a lot of fun, they may also increase the likelihood of an auto collision in different ways. For example, someone may be distracted by the fireworks or attempts to look for a parking space, causing them to drive in front of oncoming traffic or collide with a vehicle in front of them. Moreover, these celebrations can lead to alcohol intoxication, which is dangerous for anyone who gets behind the wheel, and traffic congestion as well.
If you are a Montana motorist, you know that there are currently no bans on driving while using a hand-held or hands-free cellphone. In many states across the nation, however, using a hand-held cellphone to talk, text or message while behind the wheel is against the law. A number of motorists have started using hands free cellphones in an attempt to stay in compliance with the law and continue using a cellphone while behind the wheel. These cellular devices are marketed as being safer to use than hand-held cellphones. Yet, studies show that the amount of cognitive distraction caused by using a hands-free cellphone is not considerably less than using a hand-held cellphone.
If you regularly drive down the road in Montana and see other motorists using their phones, eating or drinking, or otherwise engaging in distracted driving practices, you may have firsthand knowledge of just how severe the problem has become. At the Law Firm of Edmiston & Colston, we know that injuries and fatalities often result when drivers fail to follow the rules of the road, and we have helped many people who suffered injury in distracted driving-related accidents hold the appropriate parties accountable.