Montana is home to some of the most open highways in the nation and a rich history of speeding on them. It wasn’t until 1974 that there became a daytime speed limit on Montana highways. The Montana Supreme Court case against Rudy Stanko for his speeding ticket lead the state to adopt a speed limit of 75 miles per hour in 1999. In 2015 Montana bumped it up to 80 miles per hour for both night and daytime.

Overall, Montana has pretty good drivers. In QuoteWizard annual best and worst driving state studies, Montana has always rated fairly well. Every year ranking in the top half of states. Now just because the whole state is considered good drivers, doesn’t mean there are bad drivers in the state. We here at QuoteWizard wanted to see where the worst drivers are driving, and to find where the best of the best are.

We analyzed QuoteWizard data from tens of thousands of insurance quotes from Montana to see where the best and worst drivers live. To determine overall driver quality in Montana, we studied drivers in Montana’s 20 largest cities who used QuoteWizard.com to compare quotes. We then ranked cities by the highest rate of incidents. Incidents include accidents, speeding tickets, DUI’s and moving citations from that data.

Worst driving cities in Montana

Rank (worst) City
1 Helena Valley West Central
2 Bozeman
3 Kalispell
4 Evergreen
5 Miles City
6 Lewistown
7 Anaconda-Deer Lodge County
8 Great Falls
9 Sidney
10 Missoula

Helena Valley West Central

Among the many Helena Valleys and the city of Helena, the folks in the West Central part of town are the worst drivers. They really separate themselves from their neighbors, as Helena ranks as the second best driving city in the Big Sky state. One must wonder what’s in the water up on the west central valley? Lewis and Clark county had 16.23 road fatalities per 100,000 drivers in 2017.

Bozeman

Between the traffic heading to Yellowstone and the rowdy kids of Montana State (go cats), you’d expect Bozeman to be near the top of the bad driving cities. Being on the I-90 corridor has its benefits, but the added traffic during summer months makes it a hotbed for incidents. Gallatin county however, did have a very low fatality rate of 8.35 road fatalities per 100,000 people in 2017.

Kalispell

Off the path of I-90 north of Missoula is Kalispell, the third worst drivers in Montana. Where as Helena Valley West Central and Bozeman both deal with a significant number of cars on the road, Kalispell does not. The lack of traffic in town would really point to its citizens and their poor quality of driving. Flathead county did account for 15.00 road fatalities per 100,000 people in 2017.

Best driving cities in Montana

Rank (best) City
1 Havre
2 Helena
3 Butte
4 Whitefish
5 Helena Valley Southeast
6 Lockwood
7 Laurel
8 Livingston
9 Billings
10 Belgrade

Havre

Up near the Canadian border is the best driving city in Montana, Havre. Being so close to the border you’d assume the Canadian politeness wears off on it’s drivers. Letting others merge, yielding to cross traffic and gentle waves at passing motorists makes Havre drivers the best in the state. Unfortunately, Hill county did account for 36.45 road fatalities per 100,000 people in 2017. One of the highest figures in the state.

Helena

As mentioned above in the worst driving section, Helena drivers are the very best in it’s neighborhood. Something about the surrounding valley cities makes Helena proper look like saints. Regardless, the state capital is safe to drive in. Kudos to the government employees for following the law.

Butte

With I-90 and I-15 crossing paths in Butte, you expect the city to appear on the other side of the list. However, the folks in Butte do a great job of handling the traffic and avoiding incidents. Keep up the good work and we’ll see Butte drivers on top of the good driver list next year. Silver Bow county had 14.45 incidents per 100,000 people in 2017.

Methodology

The QuoteWizard research team evaluated driver quality from the 20 largest cities in Montana by population. We analyzed 2018 data from tens of thousands of insurance quotes from Montana drivers using QuoteWizard to find the rate of overall incidents in each city. Incidents include accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs and moving citations