BOZEMAN — On Tuesday, a fatal accident occurred at mile marker 71 on Highway 191, and another accident occurred Thursday in Gallatin Canyon. For people that drive this highway frequently, they don't always think it's the road causing these accidents, but rather human error.
Kevin Hohe says he drives through the Gallatin Canyon often during the winter months, and he believes accidents happen due to drivers' speed.
“If you're grabbing your brakes all the time and you don't use the turnouts, you're going to irritate everybody behind you and people are going to get impatient and bad things are going to happen,” says Hohe.
Montana Highway Patrol Sergeant Cody Ruane says most accidents have to do with careless driving and people getting impatient on the two lanes in the canyon.
“They'll cross on double-yellow lines, improper passing and clipping other vehicles, forcing them into ditches," says Sergeant Ruane, "or even through the winter periods, they'll slide right off and crash into the guardrails or off the side into the ditch as well.”
Ruane says accidents on Highway 191 are on par with last year. From January 1 to May 1 last year, there were 28 accidents, and this year there are 24. There were 13 injury crashes last year, and this year there have been 10 with one fatality.
Sergeant Ruane says there are ways to help prevent accidents.
“There are plenty of turnouts to use if you want to do your Sunday driving, but you need to be aware of those turnouts," says Sergeant Ruane. "Take them when people start backing up behind you. That's what leads to people being impatient and ultimately going to road rage.”
Hohe believes, “If you're not comfortable to drive the speed limit on the road, you probably shouldn't drive the road.”