Montana drivers may be safer if they keep their headlights on during the day as well as at night. Although multiple studies have indicated that this is the case, just over one-fourth of vehicles manufactured at present have day running lights. Therefore, it has been proposed that there should simply be a law requiring drivers to keep their lights on at all times.
As the economy in Montana and around the country continues to improve, the rates of motor vehicle accident injuries and fatalities have also climbed. The increase has happened after the rate of driver fatalities had declined by one-third with the advance of newer vehicles that have numerous safety features. The current increase has happened despite those safety improvements.
When Montana residents are shopping for a new car, the safety rating each vehicle has received might be a major factor influencing their decision making. However, some residents might not be aware of who issues the safety rating and the criteria used.
Montana drivers of SUVs, minivans and pickups might be less likely to lose their lives in a motor vehicle accident compared to drivers of other types of vehicles. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety examined driver deaths in vehicles registered for the years 2011 to 2014. They found that there was an average of 30 driver deaths per million registrations. This figure was much lower for driver deaths in minivans at 19 per million registrations. There were 21 for SUVs and 26 for pickups.
Some Montana motorists might be surprised to learn that according to a survey conducted by AT&T, more than two-thirds of the respondents admitted to using their smartphones while driving. In a different report from the AAA Foundation for Traffice Safety, distracted driving overall was highest in the 19-24 age group with 88 percent reporting at least one reckless behavior while they were behind the wheel.
Every driver has gotten behind the wheel of a vehicle while in a hurry. The temptation to speed can be hard to resist, especially when there is traffic or other issues to slow a driver down. Despite the fact that most drivers speed at some point, speeding actually does very little to help a person arrive at his or her destination faster.
Impatient, angry or frustrated drivers are a common problem in Montana and around the county, and efforts to curb aggressive driving are often stymied by the attitudes of motorists who fail to recognize the dangers posed by their own reckless driving habits. The vast majority of road users surveyed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety in 2012 said that aggressive driving was either a serious or very serious issue, but about half of them also admitted that they regularly travel at speeds well in excess of posted limits.
Older Montana drivers may be able to look forward to many more years behind the wheel thanks to new vehicle safety technology. Cars are now being developed with autonomous technology that can detect imminent hazards and then brake or steer to avoid them. Safety features like blind-spot warning systems already come standard on some vehicles.