According to statistics released by the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT), over 2,300 people lost their lives in vehicle crashes on Montana’s roads and highways during the last decade. Of those 2,300 fatal accidents, nearly 500 represented the 18- to 25-year-old demographic, making that age group the one with the highest fatality rate in the state. These numbers raised concern of not only state officials but the general public as well.

Furthermore, according to MDT data, about 85 percent of those killed in the 18- to 25-year-old demographic were involved in a vehicle crash with an impaired driver, or had occupants in the vehicle that had not correctly used the vehicle’s seat belts or simply failed to used them altogether. To combat Montana’s problem with traffic-related injuries and deaths, approximately one year ago, the MDT announced it would be instituting a new program named Vision Zero.

According to the Director of MDT, Vision Zero is a multi-pronged initiative that has at its heart the goal of reducing Montana’s annual highway related death and injury count to zero. Though it is an ambitious goal according to the Director of MDT, the program will have to focus on targeting the state’s young drivers. In an effort to have an impact on the public about the aftermath following a car accident, MDT has on display a series of metal sculptures on the University of Montana campus that showcases actual portions of vehicles that were totaled in collisions on Montana’s highways, along with audio stories of crash survivor victims.

Vision Zero is a laudable initiative but despite such programs in place, the message may not get out to everyone, and fatal car accidents and those with injuries happen on Montana’s roadways routinely. For those who have been involved in a car accident, the experience can forever change their life and the injuries may have a long-term impact. Car accident victims interested in finding more about what legal recourse they have may want to consider contacting a personal injury lawyer familiar with vehicular accidents.

Source: Montana Department of Transportation, “VisionZeroMT,” Accessed July 20, 2015