Tragically, thousands of motorists and passengers are hurt or killed each year in motor vehicle accidents in the St. Louis area. Responsible driving could prevent the vast majority of these accidents. Unfortunately, many motorists choose to text while driving, operate their vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs, drive while overly tired, or otherwise fail to protect themselves and others on the road.
If you were injured in a car accident that someone else caused in St. Louis, you might be entitled to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other losses you suffered. Contact a St. Louis car accident attorney at Sumner Law Group, LLC, for a free consultation today.
Major Causes of Car Accidents in St. Louis
Many factors cause car accidents in St. Louis, though driver negligence almost always plays a role. Some of the most common causes of car accidents in the St. Louis area include:
- Distracted driving – Distracted driving occurs when a motorist takes their attention off the road. Distractions can be visual, manual, or cognitive. If a motorist gets distracted behind the wheel for even a few seconds, they have the potential to cause devastating accidents. In one recent year, distracted driving resulted in 84 fatal crashes in Missouri, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP).
- Speeding – Traveling faster than the speed limit can be incredibly dangerous to other motorists. The faster a vehicle travels, the more time it needs to slow down or come to a stop. Speeding motorists who suddenly encounter heavy traffic or potentially hazardous situations often don’t have sufficient time or space to avoid a collision. Speeding caused 194 crash fatalities in Missouri that same year, and driving too fast for conditions caused 201 deaths.
- Drunk driving – Alcohol limits a motorist’s ability to judge traffic situations and react to road hazards or obstructions. Alcohol led to 175 crash fatalities in a single year in Missouri.
- Tailgating – Tailgating happens when one driver follows another vehicle too closely. Tailgating is a leading cause of rear-end collisions. If the traffic situation changes or a hazard is on the road, drivers who fail to maintain a safe distance behind other vehicles may not be able to react quickly enough to prevent an accident. Following too closely contributed to 20 crash deaths in a recent year in Missouri.
- Aggressive driving – Aggressive driving is a broad term that includes road rage, racing, speeding, brake checking, illegal passing, unsafe lane changes, cutting other drivers off, failure to obey traffic laws, and failure to yield the right-of-way, among others.
- Driver fatigue – Getting behind the wheel without proper rest can lead to catastrophic accidents. Fatigued drivers may experience impaired judgment and an inability to concentrate on the road, similar to intoxicated drivers. Driver fatigue caused 16 crash fatalities in one year, according to the MSHP.
How Many Car Accidents Occur in St. Louis?
According to the most recent available data from the MSHP, 76 fatal accidents in St. Louis in one recent year. In addition, 3,892 non-fatal personal injury crashes occurred in the city that same year. There were also 10,370 crashes with only property damage, bringing the total number of crashes in St. Louis to 14,338.
Who Gets Involved in St. Louis Auto Accidents?
Anyone can be involved in an auto accident in St. Louis. However, motor vehicle drivers make up the highest percentage of people killed or injured in crashes.
According to the MSHP, motorists accounted for 58.26 percent of all people killed in auto accidents in one year, while passengers accounted for 15.91 percent. Motorcycle drivers accounted for 11.25 percent of all crash fatalities that year, while pedestrians made up approximately 12.97 percent of deaths.
Drivers accounted for 65.61 percent of all crash injuries, while passengers made up 27.29 percent of all injuries. Motorcycle drivers accounted for 3.44 percent of all injured crash victims that year, and pedestrians accounted for 2.48 percent.
Where and When Do Crashes Occur in St. Louis?
The highest incidence of fatal auto accidents occurs during the summer months. Approximately 12.25 percent of all fatal accidents occurred in June. The next highest month was July, which accounted for 11.05 percent of all fatal crashes that year. The highest percentage of crashes occurred in October, accounting for just over 10 percent of all deadly crashes.
What Percentage of Car Accidents Are Fatal?
In the year surveyed by MSHP data, 914 crashes in Missouri were fatal out of 131,390 crashes, indicating that 0.6 percent of all crashes were fatal. While that might not seem like a large percentage, given the staggering number of accidents in the state, 987 people were killed in car accidents that year.
Car Accident Statistics by Gender
MSHP compiles data for three gender categories, male, female, and “unknown.” In a recent year, most car accidents in Missouri involved male drivers at 53.7 percent, while 38.18 percent of all crashes involved female drivers.
Males in the 25-34 age range were the most likely to be killed or injured in an accident. Women aged 35-44 were the most likely to be killed in an accident but the second most likely to be injured after females aged 25-34.
Car Crash Statistics by County
Since 1876, St. Louis has not been affiliated with any county and is an independent city. With 14,338 total crashes, St. Louis City had some of the highest crash rates in the state, accounting for roughly 10 percent of all crashes in that year.
Apart from St. Louis City, the two counties with the highest crash rate were Jackson County, with 19,295 total crashes, and St. Louis County (not to be confused with St. Louis City), with 23,739 crashes.
Get Help from Our Experienced St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer Today
Were you injured in a car accident in St. Louis? If someone else’s negligence harmed you, contact our seasoned St. Louis car accident lawyers for a free case evaluation. We represent clients on a contingency fee basis, which means we will not collect a legal fee unless we secure compensation for you.