Posted: Dec 21, 2012 4:52 PM by Katy Harris KXLF News
Montana Highway Patrol has released discouraging statistics related to highway crashes and fatalities for 2012.
This year MHP responded to a growing number of fatal car crashes.
The number of fatal crashes occurring during the day has increased by 27%.
Last year there were 84 deaths that happened during day light hours.
This year that number jumped to 107 deaths.
MHP Butte Division Captain Gary Becker says the reason is because, "They get tired, fatigued, they're not paying attention and the next thing they know they're falling asleep or they're distracted within the vehicle and drift off, then they over-correct."
The number of fatal crashes on secondary highways increased by 255.56%.
In 2011 there were 9 fatal car crashes on secondary highways.
This year that jumper jumped to 32 deaths.
"A lot of those highways-there's not a lot of room for error. If you're off the road you're off the road and trying to correct and get the vehicle back under control is difficult," says Becker.
There is one common factor that ties these increases in fatal car crashes together-the seat belt.
"When the time comes that you really do need that protective device it's not available to you and it's too late to put it on because things are happening so quickly and the next thing you know people are being ejected out or they're getting tossed around inside the vehicles," adds Becker.
The number of fatal motorcycle crashes increased by 42.86% this year.
Last year there were 21 fatal motorcycle crashes on Montana Highways.
This year there were 30.