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Uptick in deadly crashes is a concerning trend amid looming icy weather

Posted at 8:29 PM, Jan 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-11 11:33:53-05

MONTANA — Car crash fatalities are on a slight uptick this winter season from the average. Montana Highway Patrol have seen 7% more fatal wrecks for their end of year report.

Since December 1st, more than 30 people have died in deadly car crashes across Montana. These numbers coming during a relatively mild and warm end of the year. Now, with looming sub-zero temperatures and the threat of winter storms, the roads are ripe for potential dangers.

“During these sub zero temperatures, we will have troopers out there on the roads. If you don't have to travel this weekend, don't. If you do have to travel, slow down,” says Sgt. Jay Nelson.

Roughly half of all fatalities reported in the last 40 days can be attributed to excess speed. In upcoming icy conditions, the danger is evermore prevalent. While traveling, Sgt. Nelson suggest packing an emergency kit with blankets, a flashlight, food and water, as well as utilizing signaling devices like hazard lights or reflective triangles. if your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere do not exit the vehicle.

“Any time we have these subzero temperatures, the chances of injury or death once you leave the vehicle and start to walk can definitely increase,” says Nelson.

Temperatures will likely dip as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit over the weekend. Stay tuned to KRTV Stormtracker Weather for updates on road conditions.