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140,000 traffic accidents just in Missouri

Many drivers can have a long and uneventful history of operating a motor vehicle. You probably know someone who has driven for decades without even a fender bender. It may be attributed to some who are skilled at driving, and have used those skills to avoid situations that would have caused a lesser driver to crash.

Others may be exceptionally cautious. Then never drink and drive, never use their cellphone, eat, smoke, shave or do their makeup, or any of the millions of other activities that can cause distraction. They avoid traveling in bad weather and are not driving in the overnight hours, stay under the speed limit and don't run red lights.

Then there are the rest of us. We can attribute our lack of accidents to a very important and often overlooked element of driving: Luck.

We have been lucky. We haven't encountered a drunk driver running a red light. We have not had a sleepy truck driver miss a curve and cross the median directly in front of our vehicle. We have not had a vehicle strike a concrete median, become airborne and crash on top of our vehicle.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol wants to remind everyone that in Missouri alone, in 2013, there were almost 140,000 vehicle accidents. This is more than 380 crashes per day. According to the MSHP, the average driver will experience a collision every ten years of his or her life, and they point out that these crashes must be reported to the police.

Maintaining safe driving habits are essential, but they are a floor, not a ceiling, for highway safety. You may think you will never have an accident, because you are a safe driver, but never forget in addition to being a safe driver, you still need to be lucky.

Heartlandconnection.com, "Missouri State Highway Patrol works to raise accident awareness," Ashley Hoak, March 18, 2015

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