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Safe Driving Over New Year’s

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A snowy road on a winter's night

Safe Driving Over New Year’s

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According to NBC Montana, there is a winter storm warning for Western Montana until Saturday.  This warning includes areas like Bozeman, Missoula, Butte, Kalispell, and others.  This storm is projected to have small pockets of freezing rain throughout the state with heavy snowfall expected to fall today and Saturday.  The expected amounts of snow are 6-12 inches in Kalispell and Missoula, 4-8 inches in Butte, and 5-10 in Bozeman.  Even more, snow is expected at higher elevations.  Such conditions are expected to be accompanied by low temperatures.

Whenever there is a wintry storm, it is vital to become more prudent in your driving.  Following a snowstorm is not a good time to be careless or even reckless in your driving.  Snowy roads and black ice can be hazardous to vehicles when driving fast.  This advice is especially timely as New Year’s approaches.

Up until a few years ago, it was legal to drink and drive in many locations in the state.  However, according to an article published in the Missoulian, in 2005, laws were passed that made such conduct illegal.  Unfortunately, in many areas, the behavior has persisted.  Similarly, the article continues, “Montana has long been tolerant of drivers who drink.  Some small-town bars still offer cocktails in a to-go cup.”  This can make nights like New Year’s where larger percentages of the population are drinking, even more dangerous.

The combination of drunk drivers and slick roads can make for a deadly combination.  At The Advocates Law, we strongly encourage everyone to take all necessary precautions to protect themselves while driving during the holiday.  For example, if you plan on drinking, confirm that your designated driver is ready.  Also, for those who are driving, be sure to drive slow.  It is better to drive slow and arrive a little later to a party than to get in an accident along the way.  If you hit black ice, don’t push your break or gas, that can often make things worse.  Unfortunately, because of the nature of black ice, it is hard to know where it is and there really isn’t anything you can do once you hit it other than minimize the damage before you hit it by driving cautiously.

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