Missouri’s High Number of Irresponsible Drivers
Car Accident

According to one recent measure, Missouri is one of the states with the most irresponsible drivers.  In fact, Missouri cracks the top 10.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) is the federal agency responsible for preventing fatal motor vehicle crashes. It has a page on its website devoted to “Risky Driving,” and provides examples of risky driving behaviors.  These include:

Negligent Actions that Cause Fatal Car Crashes

Each one of these negligent driving behaviors can cause catastrophic car crashes. Fatal car accidents have spiked in recent years across the United States. The most recent year with finalized crash data is 2020. According to NHTSA, there were 35,766 fatal motor vehicle crashes that year. That’s a 7% jump over 2019.

The number of people killed in those crashes rose 7% over 2019 as well, with nearly 39,000 fatalities in 2020.

NHTSA reports that, in 2020, more than 11,600 people were killed in car accidents involving an alcohol-impaired driver – a spike of some 14% over 2019.  Drunk-driving crashes accounted for 30% of all U.S. traffic deaths in 2020.

The federal data reveals that legally intoxicated drivers in Missouri accounted for a third of the state’s traffic fatalities in 2020.

In 2020, 8% of all fatal motor vehicle accidents were related to a distraction. NHTSA’s report on distracted driving that year lists the distractions in those crashes.  They include:

  • Car passengers
  • Talking or listening to a cell phone
  • Texting on a cell phone
  • Adjusting radio or climate controls

Speeding was a factor in more than a quarter of the U.S. fatal motor vehicle crashes in 2020, per NHSTA. That percentage was much higher in Missouri. In 2020, speed was a factor in 43% of the state’s fatal crashes.

These are measurements of risky actions taken by irresponsible drivers compiled by the federal government. A recently released study that featured another measurement of irresponsible drivers puts an unfortunate spotlight on Missouri.

Irresponsible Drivers in Missouri

SmartAsset is website devoted to consumer financial information.  In June it released the 2022 edition of its annual listing of states with the most irresponsible drivers. SmartAsset used several metrics to determine the list, which included:

  • Number of drunk-driving arrests per 1,000 drivers in each state
  • Number of deaths per 100 million vehicle miles driven in each state
  • Percentage of insured drivers in each state

Taking into account these factors, Missouri finished sixth in this year’s list of states with the most irresponsible – or worst – drivers. (Mississippi finished first, meaning it had the highest number of irresponsible drivers.) SmartAsset cited Missouri’s high fatal accident rate and its high percentage of uninsured drivers.

When drivers are careless in Missouri they can seriously hurt or kill innocent victims, be they their passengers, other car occupants, or pedestrians. If you lost a loved one in a crash caused by someone else, turn to a car accident lawyer to pursue justice on your behalf.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.

Authored by Gray Ritter Graham.  Posted in Blog July 23,2022


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