All across the country, auto accident statistics continue to show a rising number of fatalities, serious injuries, and fender-benders. It’s no secret why. There are simply more cars on the road today than there ever have been before. It’s a fact, more congested traffic results in more auto accidents. Similarly, others have blamed cell phones and infotainment systems for creating more reasons for drivers to be distracted.
U.S.-Wide Traffic Accident Numbers
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2016 saw 37,461 people killed in car accidents. In cases where the cause of the accident could be determined, there were increases in the number of individuals who died in drunk driving accidents and those who were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of a crash. By the numbers:
- Distracted driving: caused 3,450 fatalities (nine percent)
- Fatigued driving: caused 803 fatalities (two percent)
- Drunk driving: caused 10,497 fatalities (28 percent)
- Speeding: caused 10,111 fatalities (27 percent)
- Not wearing a seatbelt: resulted in 10428 fatalities (27 percent)
Missouri Traffic Accident Numbers
In Missouri, 940 individuals lost their lives in traffic accidents in 2016, and there were 4,720 major injuries. In Kansas City, there were 65 fatalities in 2015 and 2016. The most common causes of car accidents in Kansas City were excessive speeding, running off the road, not wearing a seatbelt, and horizontal curve accidents. Uninsured or unlicensed motorists also accounted for a number of accidents.
What These Numbers Mean
All across the U.S. fatalities, injuries, and the number of accidents are on the rise. Distracted driving remains a serious problem and is evident in a number of instances. There are now more deaths due to drunk driving than there ever have been before. Despite warnings and laws regarding seatbelts, more than a quarter of all fatalities involve drivers who weren’t wearing one.
As a driver on the road, it is imperative that you maintain your full concentration. For those who are using Google Maps to navigate, as many of us now do, program in the directions before you get on the road. Be certain that you can keep your focus on the road throughout the entire duration of your trip.
The worst statistic here is that drunk or intoxicated driving accidents have continued to increase despite harsher penalties for being caught under the influence. In Missouri, a large number of accidents involved only one vehicle running off the road.
Also disturbing is the number of deaths attributed to those who were not wearing seatbelts. Those who survive accidents without a seatbelt could find it much more difficult to recover damages even if they weren’t at fault for the accident. At least some of their injuries will be blamed on them. Seatbelts save lives.