Report: Fatal car accidents on the rise in Missouri

According to recent data, the number of fatal car accidents in Missouri is actually increasing.

In 2014, 47,977 people were injured due to a car accident in Missouri. The Missouri State Highway Patrol also reports that 766 people were killed due to motor vehicle crashes that year. That equates to approximately 131 injured people and two fatalities every day. In total, there were 34,028 accidents that resulted in a death or an injury in 2014.

Unfortunately, recent numbers indicate that the number of fatal accidents across the state is rising. Knowing the causes of these incidents can help drivers prevent them.

The numbers

FourStatesHomepage.com reported in October 2016 that since January of this year, 700 people have lost their lives due to a traffic accident. The report cites MSHP's numbers that point toward an 8 percent increase in the fatality rate from the same time period last year.

Know the causes

There are a number of factors that lead to these fatal accidents, such as the following:

  • Speeding: MSHP states that speed is the No. 1 cause of fatal crashes.
  • Distracted driving: This behavior ranks first when it comes to causing accidents.
  • Road congestion: More drivers are on Missouri roads.

Missouri has traffic laws in place for a reason. Driving while intoxicated or distracted does not just break the law; it puts everyone on the road at risk. Even more simply, drivers must abide by all signs and signals in order to remain safe.

Buckle up

One of the most disturbing things, according to a spokesperson for the MSHP, is that in 60 percent of traffic fatalities, the victim was not wearing a seatbelt. State law requires drivers and passengers to wear a seatbelt or be appropriately restrained in a car seat.

Take action

Losing a loved one in a car accident is devastating. The emotional toll alone can be crippling. It can cause an even larger impact when compounded with the loss of the person's earning capacity. In Missouri, survivors are entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit that seeks damages for car accidents that stem from negligence. For example, a drunk driver may be held responsible for paying funeral costs and medical bills as well as replacing the wages that the deceased would have earned had he or she lived.

Under Missouri law, these claims generally must be filed within three years of the date of the person's death. A spouse, parent or surviving child may file the claim. If there are no survivors who fit that description, then a sibling or the sibling's descendants may.

People wishing for more information on this matter should speak with a personal injury attorney in Missouri.