Every fresh snowfall western Montana has a new crop of accidents on the highways, according to Montana Highway Patrol Captain Jim Kitchin.

Kitchin said Monday morning was no exception.

“We had numerous crashes this morning,” said Kitchin. “We had about four of them down south from Blue Mountain south to Lolo there were about four crashes during rush hour time, and we have three of them up on the interstate we’re responding to right now.”

Kitchin said last week was typical for early February.

“Over the last week, we responded to 58 crashes and 451 calls for service throughout the state,” said Captain Kitchin. “When we get a little new snow like we did this morning, people are going to work and they’re traveling too fast. I recommend that people drive defensively, wear your seat belts, and allow more time to get from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’. A couple of these crashes happen because someone else has lost control of their vehicle, and the person behind them slammed on their brakes and lost control themselves.”

Kitchin reminds drivers that ‘4-wheel drive does not mean 4-wheel stop’.

“You might get better traction on the road, but if you ever break that traction you’ll lose control of your vehicle because you have all four of those wheels trying to drive at the same time. In addition, drivers should never engage cruise control. I recommend not using it at all until April, because bridge decks will be icy so there will be a loss of control there, so don’t use it until conditions remain dry.”

Kitchin said there was a fatal accident in the Kalispell area over weekend when a pedestrian was struck and killed.

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