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Top 10 Vehicles Involved in Fatal Crashes by Make in Montana

Key takeaways...
  • Fatal car crashes often occur from incidents that could be prevented; distracted driving is a big contributor to these losses.
  • It’s important to reduce your potential for loss by removing distractions and remaining focused on the road.
  • While any car can be involved in an accident, some vehicle makes are more likely to be involved.
  • One way to reduce your risk if to buy a safer car, while another is to follow suggested safety guidelines and avoid distractions.
  • Additionally, car insurance can help you bounce back after a loss occurs while also protecting drivers you share the road with.

Distracted driving contributes to more accidents and fatalities than you may realize, and there are many different forms of distracted driving that can occur. Recently, one individual was injured, and another passed away after the car went into the opposite lanes and struck an embankment.

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Fatalities Caused by Distracted Driving

This driver, as far as Montana Highway Patrol (MHP) can tell, was distracted by alcohol, drugs, or both, as well as driving above the speed limit. Additionally, the driver decided not to wear his safety belt, while the passenger did opt to wear their safety belt.

Any fatality is a sad incident, and these fatalities are often classified as either a sudden death fatality or eventual death fatality. The difference in classification stems from how the deceased passed away.

When a sudden death fatality occurs, the deceased passes away immediately following the crash. These sudden fatalities are linked to excessive speeding, reckless driving, and crashes between large and small cars.

When an eventual death fatality occurs, the deceased can pass away days, weeks, or months following the crash. These eventual fatalities are caused by injuries or complications from the crash that may not manifest for some time afterward.

These are sometimes difficult to identify as almost any car crash can lead to these fatalities.

Distracted Driving in Montana

Distracted driving is a high-risk activity no matter where you’re located, and some estimates believe it causes at least ten percent of fatal crashes across the United States. Every time you drive your car while distracted, your risk of being injured or killed increases.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) compiles statistical details about car crashes; this includes the number of fatalities that occur.

This compilation shows that 3,477 individuals passed away in 2015 due to distracted driving crashes, which amounts to about ten people per day passing away from these accidents.

Montana experienced 190 fatalities in 2016, as reported through the MHP, which was actually 34 fatalities lower than 2015 numbers.

Distracted driving comes in different forms, each of which impairs your driving abilities and increases your chance of being in an accident. Distracted driving can be visual, manual, cognitive, or a combination of these distractions.

  • Visual distractions – Include things like checking your cell phone, looking into the back seat of your car, or even checking out an accident as you drive near it; these events can pull your visual focus from the road.
  • Manual distractions – Include reaching into your bag to grab your wallet, texting someone on your phone, or trying to find your favorite radio station. Each of these events requires manual interaction, pulling your focus and reducing your ability to react to road events.
  • Cognitive distractions – Include your phone’s ring tone, a child screaming in the backseat, or even mental or emotional stress in your life. These distractions can lower your ability to make logical decisions while you’re driving.

A recent incident in Billings shows that distractions can occur in many forms. A speeding vehicle lost control and ended up crashing through a fence and into someone’s home; the driver was injured, the occupants were unharmed.

While the accident is still being investigated, both the excessive speed and the presence of alcohol are being considered factors that contributed to the accident.

Top 10 Vehicles Involved in Fatal Crashes in Montana

Montana - Top Ten Vehicles Involved in Fatal Crashes by Make

(Click here for interactive chart)

Any car can be involved in a loss or a fatal accident, so it’s essential that you pay attention to the safety options your vehicle provides. However, some vehicles are more commonly involved in fatal crashes when compared with other vehicles.

Listed below are the top ten vehicle styles that have been involved in fatal car crashes in Montana.

#10 – Pontiac

Established: January 20, 1909
Vehicles Involved: 5

Pontiac is a brand owned and sold by General Motors, which was originally introduced to be a more affordable option compared to more luxurious and expensive vehicles.

Even with its popularity, the Pontiac brand went defunct in October of 2010, allowing General Motors to focus on their other brands.

#7 – Subaru

Established: July 15, 1953
Vehicles Involved: 8

Based in Japan, Subaru has risen to prominence and expanded into the global market with their quality vehicles that are known for a long vehicle life. A unique aspect of Subaru’s vehicles is the boxer engine, sometimes called a flat engine, that many automakers are not currently using.

#7 – Jeep / Kaiser-Jeep / Willys-Jeep

Established: 1941
Vehicles Involved: 8

Jeep has changed hands and changed names a few times over the years, but it’s remained a popular vehicle style for consumers. Originally designed for military usage, the first consumer models were produced in 1945 following World War II.

#7 – Datsun / Nissan

Established: December 26, 1933
Vehicles Involved: 8

One of the more popular Japanese automakers, Nissan sells many product lines including the Datsun and Infiniti lines. Datsun was discontinued for 25 years before being revived in 2013 by Nissan.

#6 – GMC

Established: July 22, 1911
Vehicles Involved: 13

GMC is a well-known automaker that focuses on trucks, utility vehicles, and commercial vehicles for the consumer and commercial markets. The GMC brand started to grow when General Motors wanted to move into new markets that the existing automakers were not fulfilling.

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#5 – Honda

Established: September 24, 1948
Vehicles Involved: 14

The largest motorcycle manufacturer for more than 50 years, Honda continues to grow and expand; it has since become the second-largest Japanese automaker. Honda continues to grow and expand into new markets, such as their Acura luxury vehicles.

#4 – Toyota

Established: August 28, 1937
Vehicles Involved: 15

Toyota has been ranked the second largest automaker globally, producing more than 10 million vehicles annually. Additionally, Toyota rose to prominence after introducing hybrid and electric cars into the consumer market.

#3 – Dodge

Established: 1900
Vehicles Involved: 28

Dodge began as an independent American automaker that merged with Chrysler in the late 1920s. Even with changeovers and the introduction of other options, Dodge continues to remain a popular, reliable brand for consumers in the United States.

#2 – Ford

Established: June 16, 1903
Vehicles Involved: 46

Known as one of the oldest American automakers, Ford has grown to become the fifth-largest automaker on a global scale while being the second largest in the United States. Ford also manufactures the popular Lincoln vehicle brand, which is considered more of a luxury line.

#1 – Chevrolet

Established: November 3, 1911
Vehicles Involved: 56

Chevrolet, sometimes abbreviated as Chevy is a United States automaker that is part of the General Motors lineup. A top seller for more than 100 years, Chevrolet vehicles were designed originally to compete with Ford and the Model T in the 1920s.

Comparison Shop for the Right Coverage


Car insurance will not prevent accidents or fatalities, but it can help you recover from a loss once it occurs. Additionally, car insurance helps protect other drivers sharing the road with you, if you cause an accident so that they can restore to a pre-loss condition.

It’s important to review your coverage every six months to make sure that your policy is still meeting your needs. Additionally, if your marital status, living situation, financial situation, or other factors have changed, you may need to adjust your coverage appropriately.

When you purchase your coverage, there are mandatory and frequently required coverage options, which normally protect other drivers and individuals from losses you cause. Some examples include bodily injury liability, property damage liability, personal injury protection coverage.

There are also optional coverage choices, which can help you recover from losses that directly affect you and your vehicle. These can include collision, comprehensive, and emergency road service coverage.

During your policy review, you should also look at quotes from a few other providers; this allows you to compare pricing and coverage choices with your current policy.

Since each provider is unique, you may find coverage that better meets your needs elsewhere. Additionally, you may find discounts or other premium-reducing factors during your review.

Tips to Avoid Fatal Car Accidents in Montana


Every time you get behind the wheel of a car, driving safely and avoiding distractions should be your focus. Following some simple and helpful safety tips can help reduce your chances of being in an accident.

Some tips include:

  • Avoid texting while driving
  • Use a hands-free phone system
  • Set your radio before starting the drive
  • Secure loose objects or pets
  • Avoid eating or drinking during the drive
  • Drive for the road conditions and reduce speed if necessary
  • Watch out for road debris and poor road conditions
  • Familiarize yourself with directions before driving

Montana can have some road conditions that other states may not encounter, such as harsh road conditions or dangerous winter driving conditions.

Road debris can cause accidents easily when you’re driving fast and unable to maneuver easily. The types of debris can include potholes or pieces of pavement that have been damaged, objects that have fallen off a car, and even tow trailers that have separated from a car.

Driving during the winter in Montana can be very dangerous since the harsh winter weather can lead to multiple crashes, icy roads, and buildups of snow and slush.

Tips for driving safe in a Montana winter include:

  • Plan ahead and monitor weather conditions actively
  • Check your tires, both pressure and depth, before driving
  • Stock your car with extra clothes and emergency rations
  • Take your car to be checked out and serviced before winter begins
  • Reduce speed and allow for extra travel time when traveling

Take Your Job Seriously


Montana has many road and weather hazards that can make driving more difficult, and distracted driving increases these risks even further. While law enforcement takes steps to make safe driving a community effort, there are still fatalities every year from these distracted driving crashes.

You can help reduce your chances of being in an accident by avoiding distractions, following all posted speed limits, and engaging in responsible driving behaviors.

Additionally, you can check Montana’s office state website for more information on safe driving programs, safety plans, and even statistics on car crash fatalities for the year.

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