According to statistics from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 940 individuals died in car accidents in 2016 throughout the state of Missouri. That number in a significant increase from the fatality total in 2015. So far in 2017, we’re at 323 traffic fatalities as of May. This figure is roughly consistent with last year’s numbers.

It’s in the common interest of everyone who lives in Missouri to see these numbers fall every year instead of rise higher. We all want our roadways and highways to be as safe as possible and for our loved ones to not worry every time they get into a motorized vehicle.

One question remains: How do we achieve fewer traffic fatalities? To answer this question, we must first examine the common links between deadly car crashes and how the situations that cause these accidents can be avoided. Let’s look at the top 5 causes of car accidents in Missouri as per data from the Missouri State Highway Patrol:

  1. Alcohol – 5,976 Missouri car crashes in 2014 were caused by drivers who were under the influence of alcohol. We all know that getting behind the wheel while intoxicated is something we should avoid, but drunk driving continues to be a leading cause of accidents and accident fatalities.
  2. Commercial Vehicle Involved – In 2014, 12,082 Missouri accidents involved a commercial vehicle. This includes commercial trucks as well as passenger vehicles used for commercial purposes. Serious truck crashes almost inevitably lead to fatalities due to the sheer size and force of commercial semi trucks. Reducing the frequency of these accidents requires stricter U.S. truck regulations and truck drivers who are properly trained in how to avoid crashes.
  3. Young Driver Involved – In 2014, 32,763 traffic accidents involved young drivers. A young driver here is defined as any driver who is 25 years old or younger. It’s a simple fact that younger, inexperienced drivers are more likely to cause accidents. To help lessen accidents caused by young drivers, parents should caution safe driving behaviors and stress the importance of not getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or while distracted.
  4. Speeding – In 2014, 22,474 car accidents were caused by speeding in Missouri. Drivers do not always follow the posted speed limits and often drive too quickly for the conditions of the road and/or the flow of traffic. This can inevitably cause accidents.
  5. Older Driver Involved – In 2014, 42,747 car crashes involved an older driver in Missouri. An older driver is defined here as any driver who is 65 or older. To prevent crashes caused by older drivers, we must ensure our elderly population remains cautious while behind the wheel and prioritizes getting corrective eyeglasses as needed, etc., that may help prevent crashes.

As Missouri residents, it’s 100% within our power to put a halt to our state’s most deadly car accidents. As you can see from the above list, almost every situation is at least partially preventable. By encouraging everyone we know to drive safely and remembering to drive safely ourselves, we can keep our roads safer for everyone—including future generations.

If you or someone you love was involved in a car accident with a reckless or careless driver, you may be eligible to file a car crash claim against that driver. Doing so may make it easier for your family to recover as well as force the guilty driver to make better choices while behind the wheel. Contact Mike Campbell, Columbia car accident lawyer, to learn more.

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