Overall, I have been very encouraged at the decline in traffic accident fatalities across the state of Missouri. However, Southeast Missouri has actually recorded a recent increase in traffic accident fatalities. It’s important that traffic safety agencies there understand the reasons for the spike and implement measures to control these high fatality rates.
Statistics show that there have already been 75 auto accident fatalities in southeast Missouri in 2010. In 2009, 68 people had died in auto accidents here. According to the Cape Girardeau Police Department traffic division, the main causes of accidents in this area are failing to yield, following too close to another vehicle and changing lanes improperly. In fact, more than 600 auto accidents last year were traced to motorists who followed other vehicles too closely.
An analysis of traffic crash fatalities in Missouri in 2009 shows that much of this progress has been made because of stronger enforcement of anti-drunk driving laws. There are fewer hard-core drunk motorists behind the wheel in Missouri now, with a concentration of .15% or more. That has meant fewer accidents being traced to driving under the influence in Missouri over the past few years.
However, reducing drunk driving may prove to be less challenging as compared to other sorts of reckless driving behaviors, like following too close, failure to yield, or changing lanes improperly. Following too close to a vehicle or tailgating is extremely reckless, and can place you at risk of an accident if you’re unable to stop quickly enough to avoid the vehicle in front.
Moreover, as a Kansas City car accident lawyer with a special focus on distracted driving, I am seeing more and more collision cases due to distracted driving. Too often, drivers are multi-tasking and are distracted to the point they cross-over into other lanes of traffic. This is a particular problem on rural roads where there is no room for error and on interstates where traffic is moving at a fast pace.