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Common Causes Of Accidents In Missouri: Stay Safe on the Road

By Gene Hou

June 3, 2024

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    Navigating the roads of Missouri can be a challenging endeavor, as car accidents are a prevalent issue in this bustling state. From urban centers to rural highways, drivers must be vigilant and informed about the factors that contribute to these unfortunate incidents. By gaining insight into the common causes of car accidents in Missouri, motorists can proactively safeguard themselves and others on the road.

    Familiarizing oneself with the primary reasons behind car accidents in Missouri empowers drivers to preemptively address potential risks. Knowledge about these contributing factors enables individuals to make well-informed decisions while driving and steer clear of hazardous behaviors.

    Top Causes of Car Accidents in Missouri

    1. Distractions Behind the Wheel: A Major Factor

    One of the most common causes of car accidents in Missouri is distracted driving. With the prevalence of smartphones and other electronic devices, drivers often succumb to the temptation of checking messages or scrolling through social media while driving. This risky behavior diverts their attention from the road and significantly raises the likelihood of a crash.

    To underscore the seriousness of this issue, let’s examine some real-life examples and statistics:

    • Data from the Missouri State Highway Patrol reveals that distracted driving played a role in over 20% of all traffic incidents in recent years.
    • Texting while driving is especially dangerous as it involves visual, manual, and cognitive distractions simultaneously.
    • Taking your eyes off the road for just five seconds at highway speeds equates to traveling blindfolded for an entire football field’s length.

    It is imperative for drivers to prioritize safety by eliminating distractions while on the road. Silence your phone or utilize hands-free technology if you need to make calls or send messages. Remember that arriving safely at your destination should always be top priority.

    2. Speeding and Reckless Behavior

    Another significant factor contributing to car accidents in Missouri is speeding and reckless driving habits. Many drivers fail to realize that exceeding speed limits greatly diminishes their ability to react promptly when faced with unexpected situations on roads.

    Psychologically speaking, some individuals may engage in reckless behavior due to feelings of invincibility or thrill-seeking tendencies. However, it’s crucial for all road users to recognize that such conduct not only endangers themselves but also innocent bystanders sharing our roads.

    To curb speeding and reckless actions behind the wheel, consider expert advice like:

    • Adhering strictly to posted speed limits and adjusting speed based on weather conditions or heavy traffic.
    • Maintaining composure while driving; avoid aggressive maneuvers such as tailgating or weaving between lanes.
    • Being vigilant towards vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists who may be harder to spot when traveling at high speeds.

    By adopting a responsible approach towards driving practices, we can significantly reduce accident rates caused by speeding behaviors on roads across Missouri.

    3. Impaired Driving: Alcohol & Drugs

    Impaired operation due to alcohol consumption or drug use poses serious risks within Missourian streets. Operating vehicles under the influence presents immense danger not only to oneself but also to others sharing the same routes.

    Here are key insights regarding impaired operation:

    • In recent times, alcohol-related wrecks accounted for approximately a quarter of fatal vehicle collisions within the state.
    • The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for operators aged above twenty-one stands at 0.08%. Nevertheless, even lower levels of impairment could affect judgment, reaction time, coordination, and overall operational abilities.
    • Crucially, note that impaired operation encompasses both illegal substances, illicit drugs, as well as certain prescription medications that impair cognitive functions.

    For effective addressing of this matter:

    • Never operate a vehicle after consuming alcoholic beverages or taking any substances that impair operational capabilities safely.
    • Determine a sober operator if planning to consume alcoholic drinks during social gatherings.
    • If you suspect another driver is operating under the influence, maintain a safe distance from their vehicle and report immediately by contacting law enforcement agencies.

    Understanding the legal consequences surrounding impaired operations is critical. If involved in a collision with an intoxicated operator, consult an experienced personal injury attorney to navigate potential compensation claims and safeguard your rights.

    4. Weather Conditions and Car Accidents

    In the bustling state of Missouri, weather conditions are a frequent factor contributing to crashes on the road. The unpredictability of weather patterns can lead to hazardous driving situations, increasing the likelihood of accidents occurring. It is crucial for drivers to be aware of how different weather elements can impact their safety and take necessary precautions.

    Rainy Conditions

    Rainfall is a common occurrence in Missouri, particularly during certain times of the year. Driving in rainy conditions requires extra caution as wet roads can become slick, reducing traction between tires and the pavement surface. This raises the risk of skidding or hydroplaning.

    Expert Tip: When driving in rain, lower your speed and increase your following distance from other vehicles. Ensure that your windshield wipers are working effectively and use them as needed for clear visibility.

    Snowy/Icy Situations

    During winter months, snow and ice present significant challenges for drivers throughout Missouri. These adverse weather conditions make it challenging to maintain control over vehicles, leading to an increased chance of crashes.

    Expert Tip: Before venturing out in snowy or icy conditions, ensure your vehicle is equipped with appropriate winter tires or chains if necessary. Clear all windows from snow/ice before starting your journey and drive at reduced speeds while keeping a safe distance from other vehicles.

    Foggy Environments

    Fog can severely limit visibility on roadways, making it difficult for drivers to see clearly ahead. This decreased visibility increases reaction times and makes it harder to identify hazards on the road.

    Expert Tip: When encountering foggy conditions, significantly reduce your speed while using low beam headlights or fog lights (if available). Avoid using high beams as they reflect off fog particles, causing further reduction in visibility.

    Severe Storms/Tornadoes

    Missouri experiences severe storms throughout the year, which may include tornadoes during specific seasons like springtime. These extreme weather events bring strong winds, heavy rain, and potential hailstorms, creating perilous driving circumstances.

    Expert Tip: If you receive notice about an approaching severe storm or tornado warning, it’s best to refrain from driving altogether. Seek shelter in a sturdy building until the inclement weather has passed by safely.

    By understanding how various weather factors affect road safety in Missouri, drivers can take proactive measures to minimize their risk of crashes. It is essential to stay informed about current weather forecasts before embarking on any journey and adjust driving habits accordingly. Remember, safety should always be the top priority when facing adverse weather conditions on the roads.

     

    Final Thoughts

    In conclusion, understanding the top causes of car accidents in Missouri is crucial for both drivers and policymakers alike. From distracted driving to speeding and impaired driving, these factors contribute significantly to the alarming rate of accidents on Missouri roads. By raising awareness and implementing effective measures, such as stricter enforcement of traffic laws and promoting safer driving habits, we can work towards reducing the number of accidents and saving lives.

     

    For those who have been involved in car accidents, seeking legal assistance from a reputable firm is essential to navigate the complexities of personal injury claims. Missouri Injury Law Firm stands ready to advocate for victims and their families, providing expert guidance and representation in car accident cases. With our extensive experience and dedication to justice, we serve as a beacon of hope for those seeking rightful compensation and closure in the aftermath of a devastating accident. Remember, when it comes to seeking justice for car accident injuries, Missouri Injury Law Firm is the ally you need by your side.

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    Gene Hou

    Gene S. Hou is an experienced and accomplished trial lawyer specializing in Personal Injury Litigation. Mr. Hou has devoted his entire legal career to handling injury cases, both for the prosecution and the defense. Having won numerous jury trials, Mr. Hou feels comfortable and confident when representing his clients in the courtroom.

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