The Montana Highway Patrol reported an increase in traffic accidents in the Flathead Valley.

In the past two weeks, two fatal accidents occurred on Highway 2 in Kalispell. Although there has been an increase in recent Flathead Valley car accidents, the Montana Highway Patrol reported impaired accidents are down 35 percent.

Sergeant Jim Sanderson of the Montana Highway Patrol says they’re doing the best they can to make sure the roads are safe for drivers.

“The patrol has taken a very proactive stance on impaired driving,” said Sanderson.  “We’ve introduced A-RIDE schools to all patrol officers and most other agencies, which is Advanced Roadside Impaired Driver Enforcement, and we follow that up with a drug recognition expert program.”

To avoid an accident in the Flathead Valley, drivers should:

  • Never operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or prescription drugs;
  • Avoid texting and driving;
  • Safely use headlights;
  • Remember to use flashers and turn signals;
  • Pull over and rest if you are tired;
  • Obey all safety laws; and
  • Lookout for pedestrians, bicyclists and other motorists.