Cagle Law Firm
Attorney Zane Cagle

Posted on August 9th, 2019,
by Zane Cagle

Missouri Crash Numbers Rise Over Summer

Missouri Crash Numbers Rise Over Summer

Posted on August 9th, 2019 by Zane Cagle

Total Number of Missouri Crashes Rise as Summer Winds Down

Since March, the number of motor vehicle crashes has continued to rise every month. In March, there were 526 crashes, April 590, May 666, June, 684 and in July, there were 739 crashes. There have been a total of 241 fatalities since March 1, 2019 until July 31, 2019.  There have been 3,692 people involved in these Missouri crashes.  A car crash may seem like a rare occurrence, but actually the average number of crashes has risen in Missouri from 17 per day average to almost 24 per day.  This information is according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, so in fact, there are far more serious injury crashes and fatal crashes as reported by many area policing groups.

While some schools are back into session, many people will be involved in heavy travel in the end-of-summer traffic.  All of us are trying to enjoy the last few weeks of great summer weather, thus weekend traffic will most likely be heavy. When traffic is heavy, we see a continued rise in motor vehicle collisions. Concentrating on safe driving practices can help reduce your likelihood of being involved in a crash. Most of like to think of ourselves as superb drivers, but we can  become lax in our observance of coming to a complete stop at lights, yielding and affinity for speeding.  As well, each of us need to be reminded of the importance of staying attentive and focused.

Use Caution and Attentiveness to Battle Crashes

While no one plans on a car crash, there are many things that you can do to reduce the odds of a car crash.  As part of our social agreement with other drivers on the roads, we trust that other drivers will obey the rules of the road; but most importantly, you can only be responsible for your driving behavior. If we all do our individual part, we can drive down the number of crashes to round out a safer end of summer.

Never Drink and Drive. The most preventable collisions are the crashes caused by impaired drivers. Climbing behind the wheel of a vehicle after you have been consuming alcohol is the definition of negligence.  Too many people die or are seriously injured due to impaired drivers.

Pay Attention-Avoid Distracted Driving- Distracted driving can involve using your smart phone, applying makeup, eating and any number of other activities that require you to remove your eyes from the road. If you must use your phone, pull over.  The number of drivers that drift into other lanes (head-on collisions), fail to negotiate a turn and fail to yield at stop signs are astronomical. Again, this involves simply following the rules of the road.  By failing to follow the rules of road or becoming inattentive,  you risk hurting others as well as others.

Do Not Speed.  I know, we are all impatient.  Excessive speed directly contributes to causing crashes and can be the determining factor between a minor and serious crash.  Logically, if you are speeding you have less time to navigate if a change in traffic occurs in front of you.

Avoid Peak Driving Hours if Possible. If possible, plan your trip to avoid peak hours for crashes.  You do have to consider where you are traveling and the time of day or night.  Clearly, if you are headed to the lake, 5 p.m on Friday afternoon is going to be challenging in St. Louis traffic. However, it might be really dangerous to travel after 10 p.m. considering the rural roadways and chances of deer or increased drunk drivers.  So, do some planning and evaluate where you are going and the best time to travel.  Crashes tend to increase during heavy congestion and at night when visibility decreases.

Share the Road and Be Safe

Driving on the interstate and busy highways can be a dangerous. So many crashes occur on Interstate 70, Interstate 44 and Interstate 55. In order to travel safely, observe the other traffic.  STAY in the right lane and use the LEFT lane for PASSING.  When drivers hang out in the passing lane while other cars are trying to pass in the driving lane, this creates impatience and an increased frequency for crashes. It adds more moves for drivers.  Increasing the lane changes for motorists and especially in and around semi-trucks can create dangerous conditions.  Do not cut in front of semi-trucks.  Semi’s require more room to stop, thus cutting in front of them puts you in danger.  Truck drivers are required to be professionals however, they cannot defy the rules of physics if you cut in front of them. Keep pace.  If traffic is flowing at 70 mph per the speed limit, driving 50 mph in the left lane is going to create a dangerous situation for many.

Whether you drive a motorcycle, a passenger vehicle or a semi-truck, we all want to arrive at our destination safely. Each and everyone of us can contribute to making our roadways safer though personal responsibility.

What do I do if I’m Involved in a Car Crash?

While no one wants to think about what they will do if they are in a car crash, statistically we will all be in one or two in our life time.  If you live in a metropolitan area, then statistically, you will be in an average of 4-6 crashes in our lifetime. This is scary right? This number includes minor scratches as well as serious crashes. The hope is that your 4-6 collisions will all be small property damage only claims!

Failing to plan for a crash is like failing to plan an escape route in the event of a house fire. Just because you plan does not mean you are jinxing yourself!  If you are in a crash, adrenaline and nerves cause you not to think to clearly. Our free iPhone/Android Application can easily be downloaded to assist you in remember the steps and information that you need to get after a crash.

  1.  Call 911 – call 911 immediately for your physical well-being and to assist in traffic management around you. Failure to involve authorities is the most common and profound mistake drivers make!
  2. Seek medical treatment- Clearly, if you have life-threatening injuries then you are not following any steps!  However, if you have do not have what seems like serious injuries (again, it is a personal decision. If in doubt, go in the ambulance), you can document the crash.  If your injuries are not life-threatening, you will probably need to follow up with a doctor immediately whether it is through the ER, Urgent Care or possibly your primary care doctor.  Seek medical treatment!
  3. Get the insurance information and contact information from all other drivers/participants in the crash. If authorities are called, they will gather this information
  4. Take photos of your vehicle and the other vehicles at the scene.  Preferably, you should take photos of the vehicles as they are at the crash scene. But, safety does not always allow this. If you have a crash on the interstate or in heavy traffic–consider your personal safety first!
  5. Do not talk to any auto insurance carrier about your injuries.  You simply state that you are injured but do not go into ANY DETAILS about your injury. No one knows the extent of their injuries in the first few weeks or couple of months. Some people require months of treatment so do not talk about your specific injuries.
  6. Call an attorney.  So that you do not have to talk to the insurance carrier and worry about oversharing, talk to an attorney who specializes in motor vehicle crashes. We know the questions that an adjuster will be asking you and we know the questions they really should not be asking. IE–no one knows the extent of their injuries.

We offer free consultations seven days a week at 1.800.685.3302 and locally 314.257.0214