Every day, thousands of drivers travel across Montana on Interstate 90 (I-90), the east-west interstate highway that cuts through Missoula, Butte, Bozeman and Billings. Many of these drivers are well aware of the road’s poor conditions and have cited their growing concerns. State officials are quite aware of these concerns, reporting 30 deaths on Montana’s Interstates in 2022 alone, and over 200 in the past four years.
In the winter, I-90 is often impacted by inclement weather conditions including snow, blowing snow, ice, and black ice. These weather conditions can lead to serious accidents, including car accidents and truck accidents.
Some of the most dangerous stretches of I-90 in Montana are the Homestake Pass east of Butte, the Bozeman pass outside of Bozeman, and the Columbus Hills area between Columbus and Billings.
In the summer months, I-90 sees numerous highway construction projects as well as an influx of tourists unfamiliar with Montana’s rodeways. Combine this road congestion with impatient, unaware or even reckless drivers and chaos is bound to emerge.
As a result, accidents are becoming more common on I-90.
Safety tips driving in winter conditions
Here are some tips when driving in winter conditions:
*Avoid driving if you can: when winter conditions are at their worst, the #1 safety rule is to stay in place and avoid driving if you can. Allow the storm to pass and the highway to be plowed/sanded.
*Drive for the conditions: just because the speed limit sign says 80 MPH doesn’t make that a safe speed for winter conditions. Drive slow and watch out for black ice, snow, or other winter hazards.
*Allow plenty of room: it’s never wise to tailgate, but tailgating in winter conditions is a recipe for disaster. Keep plenty of room between you and other vehicles.
Safety tips driving in construction zones
Here are some tips when driving in construction zones:
*Pay attention and remain alert: Sometimes, you may never know what to expect, whether a construction vehicle enters your lane, or a reckless driver does.
*Avoid speeding: Drivers endanger construction workers, other drivers and themselves by speeding.
*Drive without distractions: Avoid talking on the phone, texting, eating and other actions that take your eyes off the road.
*Practice patience: Delays will happen. Losing your temper will not help.
By following these tips, you just may save someone’s life as well as your own life.