Life Shattered - Keep Your Hands on the Wheel - image of familt crying next to an ambulance while their child is being covered up by a white sheet

Roadway Departure Crashes

There's a very important reason we heard the phrases "hands on the wheel" and "focus on the road" as we learned how to drive. When your attention leaves the road, your vehicle becomes a fast-moving, undirected object that carries at least 2 tons of weight in the event of an impact. Roadway departure crashes occur when the driver does not have full control over the navigation of their vehicle and the vehicle leaves its designated lane of travel. These crashes can be caused by a multitude of reasons including speeding, impaired driving, distracted driving, passing maneuvers, texting, or roadway conditions.

The MDT has defined roadway departure crashes as non-junction crashes resulting in one of the following crash types:

Roadway departure crashes can have costly consequences; including a totaled vehicle, towing, insurance increases, or a citation. It could come at the highest price of all: your life or the life of someone else involved in the crash. Roadway departure crashes account for approximately 60 percent of the fatal crashes in Montana. Many lives have been shattered as a result of hands and focus off the wheel. Don't be one of them!

As you look forward to warmer temperatures and road trips, check out these 7 Road Trip Reminders for behaviors to avoid that take your hands and focus off the road.


Vision Zero 2016 - A Goal for Everyone

In 2015, there were 224 fatalities on Montana roads.

What does that mean? 224 parents, children, grandparents, friends, siblings, spouses, and other loved ones had lives that were cut short. 224 times, the Montana Highway Patrol and other law enforcement would have to inform living loved ones that someone close to them lost their lives on one of Montana's roads. It also means countless tears and shattered lives of those left with the aftermath of unsafe driving behaviors.

Vision Zero is not a goal just for those who have lost someone on a Montana road. It isn't just for emergency personnel, transportation professionals, or even just for those who are guilty of unsafe driving behaviors. Imagine this: out of 224 fatalities, what if one of them was YOUR loved one? Which loved one are you prepared to lose in 2016? If your answer is none of them, then Vision Zero is also YOUR goal.

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