• Steve Schmidt - Drive Safe Missoula

Driven by Data

We live in a world where we can and do collect data on just about every aspect of our lives and when it comes to Motor Vehicle Crashes here in Montana, it's vitally important to follow the data. Here's a infographic from the Montana Department of Health and Human Services that was put together by Epidemiologist Hanna Yang. What stands out to you?

Infographic depicting motor vehicle crashes in Montana.  Statistics to know.  In 2021 54% of high school students reported always wearing their seatbelts.  36% of American Indian/Alaska Native students reported always wearing seatbelts.   Motor Vehicle crash death rate is 3 times higher among American Indian/Alaska Natives and the disparity is worsening.  In 2020 51.2 deaths per 100,000 population were reported for American Indian/Alaska Native individuals compared to 16.6 deaths per 100,000 population statewide.  75% of adults reported always wearing seatbelts in 2020.  From 2015 thru 2019 37.5% of roadway fatalities involved an alcohol impaired driver.

As I write this there have been 227 lives lost on Montana roads in 2021 (As of December 6, 2021) This time last year (2020) we were at 197 lives lost. Total lives lost in 2019 was 184 so we are obviously going in the wrong direction.


Infographic depicting fatalities on Montana Roadways in 2021 as of December 6, 2021.  There have been 227 lives lost.  130 were due to impaired driving.  115 were due to improper seatbelt or passenger restraint usage.  179 were in motor vehicles.  25 were motorcycles.  16 were pedestrians.  2 were bicyclists.  5 were ATV riders.  This time last year there were only 197 total fatalities.
Fatalities on Montana Roadways as of December 6, 2021

What's the answer? Two things. Help do your part by Always wearing your seatbelt and always driving 100% Sober.


How does this help? It helps in a couple ways. One, about all else, wearing your seatbelt is your best defense against "The other drivers" and, two, you help set the example of other younger drivers and passengers. More stuff is caught than taught and if you want to help protect your kids, show them the way. When it's their turn to drive, they will do as you have always done despite what you say.


Montana has Vision Zero. We are working toward Zero Deaths and Zero Serious Injuries on our roadways. In order to accomplish this, we need you. We need you to get to where you are going safely. Buckled up and sober.


Thank you and Drive Safe Missoula.


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