MHP: Summer brings more vehicles, accidents in the Flathead

Posted at 1:01 PM, Jun 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-29 15:02:05-04

KALISPELL – The Montana Highway Patrol (MHP) reports that July is the deadliest month in Montana out on the road for drivers.

“You’re constantly going from crash to crash, to call to call. It’s pretty relentless,” said Laramie Stefani, an MHP trooper.

Trooper Stefani told MTN that more cars on the road make for a higher chance of crashes. He attributes the serious increase in traffic in the Flathead Valley to Glacier National Park’s popularity.

“I think that’s in part due to the three million tourists that we have coming to see Glacier National Park. It’s just congested roadways and everyone has a place they need to be,” explained Stefani.

Nicer weather also plays a huge role in speeding — which Trooper Stefani says can lead to serious crashes.

“When the sun comes out, speeds go up. I don’t know what the relationship is with that, but you’re just enjoying the beautiful days and cruising along and some people just fail to maintain the speed down the highway, and that’s typically when crashes become worse,” Stefani said.

MHP reports that in 2018 the Flathead Valley had one of the highest rates of fatal car crashes in the state, behind only Big Horn and Lake counties.

Trooper Stefani suggests allowing yourself extra time to get to your destination to avoid speeding and possibly getting into a car crash.

If you are speeding and do get pulled over, Trooper Stefani reminds people to slow down and move over. It’s the law and prevents troopers from getting hit.

-Reported by Maren Siu/MTN News