Although Traffic Fatalities Dropped In 2020, Number Is Still Too High

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According to the Missouri State Highway patrol, traffic fatalities decreased 5 percent statewide in 2020. They attribute the decrease to education, enforcement, engineering, and advances in emergency medicine. Traffic fatalities hit a high of 943 in 2016, which is down to 866 in 2020. The decrease is impressive, but 866 deaths are still too many.


The Top 5 Causes of Fatal Crashes in the U.S.

Motor vehicle crashes often have many causes. The top three factors that play a factor in a motor vehicle crash are Human errors in judgment 93%, Roadway and environmental factors 33%, and Vehicle Design or failure 13%. Human errors in judgment that are primarily responsible for motor vehicle crashes are:


  1. Driving Too Fast
  2. Substance-impaired drivers contributed to approximately 24% of Missouri fatal crashes on average.
  3. Failure to keep in the proper lane
  4. Failure to yield the right of way
  5. Distracted Driving. Almost 10% of Missouri fatal crashes involved a distracted driver on average.



  • Most aggressive driving violations, such as speeding, improper passing, failing to yield the right-of-way, and following too closely, generate fines of between $100 and $1,000 and can add 3 to 4 points on the violators driving record.
  • Missouri implemented the “Buckle Up, Phone Down” campaign to educate drivers on the importance of wearing a seatbelt and not texting or reading their cellphone while driving.
  • Young Driver safety programs and impaired driving education are being implemented in school programs as well as in the media.
  • Paid media billboards and digital signs to inform the public of hazards of impaired driving in high crash locations throughout Missouri.
  • High visibility enforcement of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” national campaign and other impaired driver campaigns.
  • Greater Court monitoring of repeat offenders. Implementation of mandatory interlock ignition devices for repeat offenders.
  • Roadway engineering countermeasures are being implemented, such as an increase in lane widths, the use of shoulders, curve design, signing, striping, rumble strips, roundabouts, and intersection improvements.

What do drivers need to improve?

  1. Wear a seatbelt. Approximately half of the people that died in crashes in 2020 were not wearing a seatbelt.
  2. Do not drive drunk, drugged, or medicated.
  3. Focus on the road when driving.


The cost of a traffic fatality is too high. The most significant price paid for car accidents is the loss of human life. However society also bears the many costs associated with motor vehicle accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. motor vehicle crashes cost almost $1 trillion.


If you or a loved one has lost a loved one in a traffic accident in Missouri, contact the experienced attorneys at Walton Telken Injury Attorneys to help determine your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.

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