Deadliest Month on Montana Roadways - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Deadliest Month on Montana Roadways

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BILLINGS, Mont. - August is the deadliest month on Montana's highways and interstates, according to the Montana Highway Patrol.

As part of the 'Four Days, Zero Fatalities' challenge, there's extra patrol on Interstates 90 and 94 statewide this weekend.

MHP Captain Keith Edgell said the late summer months are the most deadly, because the hot temperatures increase outdoor recreation, meaning more activities involving alcohol.

"That's more people driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs that are on the roadways with our families," said Edgell, a 27-year MHP veteran. "Those people are the ones who get out on the road and subsequently we end up with crashes."

Over the past 3 years, I-90 and I-94 averages more than 500 total crashes in the first four days of August, according to the MHP. And, Edgell said alcohol-related fatality crashes are up more than 40 percent this year.

However, the district's fatal crash average through July is 17, but there's been 11 this year.

"If people remember to use designated drivers and buckle up when they're out here, I think we can continue the lower fatality rate," he said.

Challenges like this one aim to lower the 33,000 traffic deaths each year nationwide.