Friday, August 23, 2013

Welcome to Montana. Good luck.

Two lane road; shoulder not much wider than the white line. Drying grass just beyond looking for an excuse to burst into flames. Convoy of semi-trucks pulling doubles. Two oversize loads take half your lane. Dust devil tries to wrestle you into the Chevy 1/2 ton in the opposing lane. Cattle in the right of way. Speed limit: 70 mph.

I survived MT Highway 59 south of Miles City to get a second opinion on road safety in the state. The Pew Charitable Trusts reported in March that Montana has the highest number of deaths per mile driven of any state in the country. Deaths in that state dropped to 189 in 2010, the most recent year for which data are available.

I'm glad I completed my trip in daylight, before the serious drinking started.


  1. For years there was no speed limit in Montana, then for a span of time if you were caught speeding it was a 5 dollar fine that didn't show up on your driving record. ya gotta love it. Some folks would simply lay a 5 dollar bill on the dash of their car and take off down the road driving as fast as they pleased. There is also the issue with drunk driving in Montana and many other places as well. There was a saying at one time that distances in Montana were measured by cans of beer you drank..kinda funny but kinda sad

    Montana Boy

  2. on the other..there are many back roads especially in Montana that if you stop near the side of the road within half an hour or less someone else will stop and see if you are ok...they will help you change a tire, pull you out of the ditch,whatever you need

  3. Rich,

    Years ago I heard rumors about MT's lack of speed limits; I guess the rumors were true.

    And I've found that help appears astonishingly quickly on back roads in Idaho, too! You don't see another vehicles for hours, then get a flat and you can't even get the jack unpacked before an entire convoy shows up. Why is that?