Despite fewer drivers on Missouri roads due to the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak and springtime stay-at-home orders, Missouri state troopers say they have seen a three percent increase in traffic fatalities for the year. Data from the Missouri State Highway Patrol show there were 174 deaths as of April 5th, compared with 168 deaths in the same time frame in 2019.
Traffic deaths in 2020 in St. Louis and Kansas City have increased in 2020 despite a 47% decrease in passenger traffic. The Highway Patrol said it has stepped up law enforcement efforts due to the higher number of traffic deaths. One reason cited for the higher number of crashes is an increase in speeding, which became more possible with roads far less congested during stay-at-home orders.
The Highway Patrol data shows there were 75 vehicle fatalities in May 2020, compared with 67 fatalities for May 2019 and data shows 313 total vehicle fatalities so far this year in Missouri, compared with 293 at this point in 2019.
While speeding is typically a common contributing factor in yearly traffic death tolls, state troopers said they’ve noticed a 55% increase in the number of people driving 26 miles per hour or more over the speed limit.
On a more positive note, fatal crashes statewide are still relatively rare. Missouri Highway Patrol data shows that there were 848 fatal crashes statewide in 2018 out of 155,940 crashes overall, or about .05 percent.
Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs are still the leading cause of traffic fatalities in Missouri. Intoxicated drivers are more likely to drive recklessly, erratically, be inattentive and have a decreased reaction time. In 2018, the Missouri State Highway Patrol reported 197 fatal crashes in which alcohol and/or drugs were involved. According to data, 219 people were killed and an additional 3,372 people were injured.
What should you do if you’ve been injured in a car accident?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, make sure to call law enforcement and have a report made. Then contact the experienced lawyers at Goldblatt + Singer for immediate legal assistance. We can help you get compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering. For a free case evaluation, call or text us today at (314) 888-1000.