Montana residents will have likely heard about a limousine accident in New York that claimed 20 lives on the afternoon of Oct. 6. Questions were raised in the aftermath of the crash about the safety of stretch limousines, and accident investigators have learned that the Ford Excursion SUV involved was cited for a raft of brake violations in March. According to official records, the New York State Department of Transportation found no evidence that issues such as constricted brake connections had been repaired when the SUV was inspected again in September.
In early October, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released data on the number of U.S. roadway deaths that occurred during the first six months of 2016. Despite a growing emphasis on roadway safety in vehicle manufacturing, the number of deaths on U.S. roads increased by about 10 percent from the same time period in 2015, to nearly 18,000 people. With a 20 percent jump, Montana was among the four states with the largest hike in fatal accidents.