Summer in Montana.  Few things are as enjoyable as the freedom of driving the beautiful Montana roadways in the summer to a favorite destination.  

And while the drive may be enjoyable, even liberating, a Montana driver’s summer pathways may be characterized by a greatly increased number of other drivers.  

According to the website, summer travel in Montana increases from approximately 700 million vehicle miles traveled in a month at the low point in January to a peak of nearly 1,400 million vehicle miles traveled in July. Ironically, Montanans fear winter driving, but most fatalities occur during the months of June, July, and August. Hence, the title for the time frame from Memorial Day to Labor Day of the “100 Deadliest Days”.

Why? Speed, impaired driving, and distracted driving are among the most common culprits. And even if you consider yourself a careful driver, crashes happen.  Montana Department of Transportation’s preliminary reports show that as of June, 87 fatalities have occurred on Montana roadways this year and 92 percent of the fatalities were not seat belted.  

Luckily, one of the most important steps to safety a driver can take in the summer months is a choice all drivers are free to make, and one that is very affordable. That choice is to ensure that everyone in the car is properly restrained.  

According to the  MDOT’s Buckle-Up Montana website, “The basic idea is simple: seatbelts keep you from flying through the windshield or hurtling toward the dashboard when your car comes to an abrupt stop, but there’s more. Seatbelts saved 13,000 lives every year. One of them could be yours.”

This summer, embrace the beauty of Montana, celebrate the joy of traveling with family and friends, and let freedom ring by choosing to do what you can to keep you and your passengers safe and alive to enjoy the ‘Last Best Place’.  Click it, don’t risk it. Buckle Up Montana . . . every trip, every time.


Editor’s note: For more information, contact Pondera County Health Nurse Cynthia Grubb at 271-324 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .