What Are the Top 10 Causes of Car Accidents in Missouri?
March 24, 2022 | Car Accidents
Car accidents happen for many reasons, though some are more common than others. Understanding the ten top causes of car accidents in the state can help you avoid them. If you suffer injuries in a crash due to one of these causes, an experienced Missouri car accident attorney can advise you of your rights.
What Are the Top 10 Causes of MO Car Accidents?
The top ten causes of car accidents in Missouri are:
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued driving
- Drunk driving
- Aggressive driving
- Violating traffic laws
- Intersection errors
- Driving too fast in inclement weather
- Poorly maintained roads
- Vehicle defects
Below is a more in-depth discussion of each common cause.
#1. One: Speed
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that speeding killed 9,478 people in the United States in a recent year, and speeding played a role in more than a quarter of all fatal car accidents in the nation.
limits are there for an excellent reason: to help protect the safety of everyone who travels on our roadways. However, anyone who drives on I-70 or I-64 knows that drivers do not always obey the speed limit.
However, there’s more to it than simply obeying the speed limit-all drivers must slow down for the road conditions. Inclement weather and poorly maintained roads both require decreases in speeds to travel safely. Speeding makes it more likely that a driver will cause an accident and significantly increases the risk that the accident the driver causes will be deadly.
#2. Two: Distraction
NHTSA also reports on the overwhelming danger associated with distracted driving. In one year alone, 3,142 people lost their lives to distracted driving.
While there are many distractions, the most dangerous of all is texting, which incorporates all three categories of distraction, including:
- Distractions involving one’s hands
- Distractions involving one’s thoughts
- Distractions involving one’s vision
In the five seconds that it takes an average diver to send a text, a motorist can travel the length of a football field (when driving at highway speeds), which is a lot of distraction. Missouri is one of only two states in the U.S. without a law banning texting and driving for everyone, so many drivers look at their phones with reckless abandon and without fear of getting a ticket. Unfortunately, they often cause accidents and injuries even though they do not receive a citation.
Further, not all distractions involve smartphones or technology. When motorists focus their attention anywhere other than on driving safely, it leaves them far more likely to cause serious car accidents.
#3. Three: Fatigued driving
NHTSA also reports 697 annual fatal crashes due to drowsy driving. This form of negligence, however, is difficult to pinpoint and prove. Because drowsy driving is generally self-reported, and reporting is often low. Sources estimate that about 50,000 people suffered injuries from drowsy drivers each year.
Many drivers are surprised to learn that exhaustion can lead to similar impairments to driving while under the influence of alcohol, which is a well-known risk factor for life-threatening car accidents.
#4. Four: Drunk driving
Driving drunk can lead to severe physical, sensory, and cognitive impairments that diminish the motorist’s ability to drive safely.
The physical effects can include:
- Loss of balance
- Loss of coordination
The sensory effects include blurred vision and can even alter one’s hearing. The cognitive effects include difficulty thinking clearly and logically, difficulty making good decisions, and difficulty controlling one’s impulses. All told, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a trifecta when it comes to danger. Drunk drivers are represented far too prominently in fatal car accident statistics.
#5. Five: Aggressive driving
Aggressive drivers are some of the most terrifying-and dangerous-drivers out there. Although excess speed is the hallmark of aggressive driving, these motorists generally aren’t content with just one form of dangerous driving at any given time.
Common signs of aggressive driving include:
- Zipping in and out of lanes
- Tailgating or even tapping other vehicles on the road
- Attempting to engage other motorists with threats, taunts, foul language, or obscene gestures
- Honking incessantly
- Flashing the vehicle lights
- Ignoring traffic lights, signs, and signals
- Passing illegally, including passing on the right
- Refusing to yield the right of way
- Cutting other drivers off
If you spy a dangerously aggressive driver on the road, keep your distance and-if warranted-call the police when it is safe to do so. You can help prevent a deadly car crash.
#6. Six: Violating Traffic Laws
Some motorists don’t think the rules of the road apply to them and fail to follow them as a result. Those drivers who blast through yellow lights as they turn red and can’t quite wait for the light to turn green before proceeding are good examples.
Other examples include drivers who don’t pay attention when required to yield the right of way, ignore stop signs, and change lanes on a whim with no regard for other drivers.
#7. Seven: Intersection Errors
Far too many dangerous accidents happen at intersections. These are the spots where traffic traveling in all directions converges, and there are ample opportunities for accidents to happen.
When motorists fail to pay adequate attention to what other vehicles around them are doing and fail to gauge the speed of oncoming traffic accurately, it dramatically increases the risk of a traffic accident.
Equally dangerous are those who fail to yield the right-of-way correctly, don’t pay adequate attention to the traffic lights directing them, or misstep in any other way. Intersection accidents are all the more dangerous because they often involve more than two vehicles.
#8. Eight: Driving too Fast in Inclement Weather
Bad weather can play a primary role in car accidents. When roads are wet and slippery, motorists who don’t adjust their speed accordingly significantly increase the chances of dangerous accidents. While bad weather increases the risk of accidents, motorists are responsible for taking the effects of bad weather into account and driving safely in response.
#9. Nine: Poorly Maintained Roads
Poorly maintained roads, such as those with enormous potholes, uneven lanes, or shoulder drop-offs, make accidents more likely. While drivers are responsible for responding safely to whatever they encounter on the road, the entity is responsible for the streets may be liable for accidents caused by roads rendered dangerous by design, construction, or lack of adequate maintenance (depending upon the circumstances involved).
#10. Ten: Vehicle Defects
Motorists are responsible for maintaining their vehicles in safe working order and keeping them roadworthy. Sometimes, however, manufacturing defects render vehicles unsafe-and these defects lead to dangerous accidents. Car and parts manufacturers can also be held liable for car accidents in certain situations.
An Experienced Missouri Car Accident Attorney Can Help
If another driver’s negligence leaves you injured in a crash, you need a trusted car accident lawyer on your side. Your attorney can evaluate the cause of your accident and who should be responsible for your losses. Holding someone else liable is nearly impossible without the right legal help. Seek a free case evaluation from an experienced car accident lawyer today.