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Memorial Day starts the ‘100 deadliest days of summer’: Be safe on the roads

State troopers starting this weekend will increase their presence on Montana roads and highways, cracking down on unsafe drivers.

State law enforcement officials remind drivers that safety must be their top priority.

According to the Montana Highway Patrol, more fatal crashes occur between Memorial Day and Labor Day than any other time of year. Experts sometimes refer to that period as the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer.”

The National Safety Council estimates that 450 American drivers may die in accidents this Memorial Day weekend alone.

Excessive speed and impaired driving are among the most common factors leading to fatal crashes. Forty-eight people have died on Montana roads this year through May 9. That’s a 36% decrease from the same period last year.

Montana law enforcement officers urge drivers to buckle up, drive sober, avoid distractions and be prepared to share the road with other users, including motorcycles, bicyclists and pedestrians.

O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the University of Montana School of Journalism. His first career job out of school was covering the 1995 Montana Legislature. When the session wrapped up, O’Brien was fortunate enough to land a full-time position at the station as a general assignment reporter. Feel free to drop him a line at