Usually by this time in Montana, we would have feet of snow, a couple of winter storms, a few days of below zero temperatures, and at least 15 really bad wrecks on our roads. And most of those accidents would be caused from wintery road conditions.

This year it is certainly different. We are going to have a snowless Christmas, which means are roads, for the most part, have been dry and clear.

Unfortunately, even with the dry roads, we have have a significant number of accidents, especially in December.

Get our free mobile app

Since the beginning of December through the first couple of weeks, Montana has seen 16 deaths. With winter not being the main cause for the accidents, there is clearly other driving issues Montana needs to focus on.

Canva
Canva
loading...

Less than half of the deaths in the first half of the month had alcohol/drug use listed as part of the reason for the accidents and only one had snowy/icy roads listed as a contributor to the crash.

This tells us that people are just not paying attention and driving too fast. Missing turns, on/off ramps, curves in the roads, and driving way to fast are the most common listed contributors to these recent deaths.

Canva
Canva
loading...

What can Montanan's do to keep the roads safer? Simple. Put the phone away, use handsfree features, and if you are unfamiliar with a road you are going to be driving, have your maps pulled up on your touchscreen (if available) and that will help you navigate upcoming curves and hills.

Canva
Canva
loading...

The population in Montana isn't going to get any smaller, so making sure you are focused on your lane will help with saving the lives of fellow Montanan's.

20 License Plates Banned In Montana

This is just a small glimpse at banned license plates in the state of Montana. There are well over 4000 that could be added to this list.

Now why some of these are banned is beyond me. I don't find any of them offensive, that's for sure; the state of Montana has the right to refuse:

"any combination of letters or numbers, or both, that may carry connotations offensive to good taste and decency or which are misleading or a duplication of license plates provided elsewhere."- Montana Motor Vehicle Department

What plates are banned in your state? Hopefully, they are not as picky as Montana.

Gallery Credit: Megan Shaul, Will Gordon

9 Ways To Avoid Hitting A Deer In Montana

State Farm Insurance came out with a list of states with the worst odds of hitting an animal, and Montana came in 2nd. There is a 1 in 44 chance, you will hit an animal while living and driving in Montana. The most common months for this to happen are October, November, and December. If you are traveling through the surrounding states, your odds of hitting a deer don't really get any better. North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Idaho are all considered "high risk" or "medium risk" for the odds of hitting an animal.

Here are State Farm Insurance's 9 ways to help avoid hitting a deer.

Gallery Credit: Megan Shaul

Here's 8 States That Have Longer And Harsher Winters Than Montana

Winter can be brutal here in Montana with lots of wind, snow, and temperatures well below zero. In fact, that alone should be a word of warning for those thinking of moving here from warmer climates.

A lot goes into being prepared to live in a state with rough winters and if you've never done it before, you certainly need to make sure that you are prepared. You need to make sure you have the right tires, vehicle, and winter clothing. Plus, I would highly suggest you learn how to drive in winter conditions before moving to a state that celebrates winter 6 months out of the year.

And while winters can be very rough here in Montana, we don't even crack the Top 5 for States With The Most Brutal Winters.

Gallery Credit: Derek Wolf

More From 100.7 KXLB