Halfway through the year, the Montana Highway Patrol released its "Fatality Crash Information" report. The report breaks down the number of vehicular crashes and deaths by district, the type of roads where the wrecks occurred, and outside influences such as seat belt usage, pedestrians, and wet roads.

Statewide deaths on the road

So far in 2023, 102 Montanans have died in car crashes. It's down one death from last year and down 31 deaths compared to 2021. The most prevalent circumstance the report found was seat belts not used. Over 62% of fatal crashes involved the deceased not wearing seat belts. However, even when seat belts were used 29 people still died.

The next biggest circumstance was speed suspected. Exactly 50% of fatal wrecks involved speeding or suspicion of speeding.

And we can't forget about alcohol suspected. Alcohol was involved in 38 of the 102 deaths (37%). Other drugs suspected played into 15 deaths.

Breaking it down by Montana districts

The Billings District led the state in fatal car crashes. Through July 31, 25 people died on the roads in Billings, which is no shock. Billings is the largest city in Montana at 119,960 people and has led that category for the last three years.

The second deadliest area in the state was Kalispell (District 6)21 people died in District 6, up 6 deaths compared to last year. Kalispell has been in either second or third in fatal crashes the last three years despite being the seventh largest city in Montana.

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Coming in third is Western Montana's largest city Missoula (District 1). Missoula mourned 16 deaths on the roadway through July.

Here's a full list of fatal car crashes broken down by districts.

  • District 1 (Missoula) - 16 deaths
  • District 2 (Great Falls) - 6 deaths
  • District 3 (Butte) - 11 deaths
  • District 4 (Billings) - 25 deaths
  • District 5 (Glendive) - 5 deaths
  • District 6 (Kalispell) - 21 deaths
  • District 7 (Bozeman) - 14 deaths
  • District 8 (Havre) - 4 deaths

All stats compiled by the Montana Highway Patrol-Fatality Crash Information