Deaths on the Highway


In Montana, it seems that all highway deaths are documented at the spot in which they happened. Most incidents are marked by a simple white cross - no name, no date, no reason why. Some are treated as they do in many other states with elaborate displays.  I suspect the anonymous signage is an effort by the State to remind drivers to be careful. 

I've been struck by the sheer numbers of them. On some highways there is a marker every few miles. Why? Is it the speed limit - 80 mph on the interstates, 70 mph on rural highways? Is it drunk driving? Is it from deer, antelope, or elk crossing the road? Or could it be fatigue - the long distances between places?

These photographs were made along a short section of Highway 12 in western Montana between Helena and Anaconda.