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Thank You for Driving Safer!

For several years before the COVID-19 pandemic traffic-related serious injuries and deaths were on a downward trend. It was great to see the numbers declining each year.

Once the pandemic hit, many of us in the traffic safety industry predicted that the number of serious injuries and deaths would go down because there were fewer people on the road. With more people working remotely and staying home, there would be less traffic, which would naturally lead to safer roads. We were all wrong.

The numbers shot up in 2020 and continued climbing in 2021. What was happening? How long was this deadly trend going to last?

Thankfully, the trend appears to have turned around, and people are driving safer.

Just look at the most recent numbers from the Montana Department of Transportation.

According to my records from the Montana Department of Transportation Website, on 7/27/2020, we had 108 fatalities on Montana Roads, with just under 100 for the same period in 2019.

In 2021, on July 27th, we had 124 fatalities on our roadway. Although we have nine more days until 27th, we are well below the 2019 numbers.

Now let's look at this one other way. As of July 12th, there were 75 fatalities. Five were motorcyclists, eight pedestrians, and 5 ATV riders. If we remove these 18 from the total, we are at 57 deaths. 35 related to impaired driving and 38 improper restraint (seatbelts). Let's imagine if 35 people chose to drive sober, and 38 decided to wear their seatbelts....folks, we could be nearly at Zero. Also, imagine if all motorcyclists and ATV riders wore the proper protective gear? Imagine if the pedestrians and the drivers that hit them were both 100% sober and free from distractions. Folks, we could be at ZERO! It is possible.

To get to ZERO, we need you. We need you to get to where you are going safely, and it looks like more and more of us are making the safer choices to:

1) Always choosing to wear a seatbelt

2) Only driving 100% sober

3) Always driving in control and free from distractions.

Thank you for leading the way, Missoula!

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