Already this year, 131 people in Missouri have died in motor vehicle crashes. In 2018, more than 900 people were killed in Missouri fatal traffic accidents. According to latest data from the federal government, Missouri’s roadway fatality rate per 100,000 people in 2017 was well above the national average. And has been since at least 2013.
What are the most common causes for fatal car crashes in Missouri?
One of the fastest growing causes is distracted driving. Fatal driver distractions are found in many forms – talking with passengers, eating or drinking behind the wheel, fiddling with the car radio. But the most concerning is driving while using a cell phone.
Distracted Drivers in Missouri
In Missouri this can be especially concerning as the state’s laws on this subject are relatively lax. Only drivers under the age of 21 are prohibited from texting and driving. All other drivers in Missouri may legally text away. Perhaps not coincidentally, the only age group that saw an increase in Missouri fatal crashes from 2016 to 2017 was drivers 21 and older. Missouri is one of only three states that does not completely ban texting and driving.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, sending or receiving a text while driving takes your focus off the road for five seconds. Driving 55 mph during that time, your vehicle will travel about the length of the football field.
Missouri Fatal Drunk Driving Crashes
Fatal drunk driving accidents dropped nationwide between 2016 and 2017, but not so in the Show-Me-State. Missouri’s drunk driving deaths – as a percentage of all the state’s motor vehicle accident deaths as well as in total number – actually rose. In 2017, Missouri saw 254 fatalities from drunk driving crashes.
In 2017, nearly 40 percent of drunk driving deaths nationwide were individuals other than the drunk driver – occupants in that vehicle, occupants in other vehicles, and pedestrians.
The latest national statistics show that speeding was involved in 37 percent of Missouri’s motor vehicle crash deaths in 2017. Jackson County, on the west side of Missouri, had the most speeding-related deaths in the state, as it has for the several past years. Its total of 49 speeding deaths topped those in St. Louis County (30) and St. Louis City (26).
There is a common thread between these common causes of fatal car crashes in Missouri. They all are irresponsible, negligent acts. These careless actions kill innocent victims and turn their surviving family members into victims as well.
If you had a loved one die or you were seriously hurt in a car or truck crash caused by another driver, contact a personal injury lawyer with the details of your case.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.
Authored by Gray, Ritter & Graham, P.C., posted in Blog March 8, 2019