Car accidents kill and injure millions of people globally each year. According to data from the Association for Safe International Road Travel, 1.3 million people die in car crashes each year, and an additional 50 million are injured. The Missouri Department of Transportation reported 142,966 crashes in 2011, and a person in Missouri was injured in a car accident every 10 minutes.
Kansas City Area Car Crashes
How does the Kansas City area compare? Unfortunately, we’re not immune to car crashes. We’ve pored through the data from the Missouri Highway Patrol to bring you the highest crash areas (ranked in descending order and based on 2012 crash data):
- I70/I435 Interchange: 60 crashes, 15 injuries
- 64th St/I29: 35 crashes, 12 injuries
- 23rd St/ I435: 34 crashes, 19 injuries
- 170/Blue Ridge Cutoff: 31 crashes, 8 injuries
- 5th Street/Broadway: 30 crashes, 1 injury
- S.71/Bannister: 29 crashes, 5 injuries
- Front Street/I435: 29 crashes, 5 injuries
- I435/87th Street: 28 crashes, 15 injuries
- S. 71/ Red Bridge: 27 crashes, 13 injuries
- Vivion Rd/Oak Trafficway: 27 crashes, 8 injuries
Most area car crashes occur on highways and other high-speed limit areas. According to Missouri University professor Carlos Sun, it’s purely a matter of physics: high-speed vehicles are more likely to crash due to less reaction time and are more likely to result in Kansas City catastrophic injury case.
Factors Contributing to Car Crashes in Missouri
What contributes to car crashes in these areas? Speed is certainly a central aspect, but it’s not the only one.
- Equipment failure. When involved in a car accident, we all look to extraneous factors. Sometimes, car malfunctions really are to blame. Examples of equipment failure include faulty products such as failed tires (blowouts, tread separation), brakes (including ABS), and steering/suspension. Data indicates only 5% of crashes are actually the result of equipment failure.
- Roadway design. Road conditions can certainly play a role in car accidents, but it’s not as common as you may think. Roadway design flaws include visibility hazards like landmarks and trees, while temporary roadway hazards include wild animals, construction, and parked cars. Sometimes, the material of the road itself (i.e. grooved pavement) can be a contributing factor in an accident. Weather like ice, hail, and rain also fall into this category.
- Poorly maintained roads are a more commonly cited factor in car accidents. Faded road signs and failure to salt or sand in inclement weather may be to blame.
- Driver behavior. No other factor contributes more to accidents than driver behavior. According to one study, 80% of drivers believed the other person involved could have done something to avoid the accident. Speed is a compelling factor since 90% of us admit to speeding at some point in our lives. Increasingly, distracted driving is to blame for vehicle accidents. Texting, talking, and even putting on makeup or brushing your teeth are types of distracted driving.
Preventing Car Accidents
Fortunately, we can all play a part in reducing the number of traffic accidents. Use these tips to minimize your chances of crashing on the road:
- Don’t speed. We all have places to be. We all run late from time to time. Don’t let your urgency affect your safety.
- Assure a safe distance. Always give a three-second following distance to other drivers on the road. Remember, you’re almost always at fault for rear-end accidents.
- Yield to those who have the right of way.
- Never operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or any other substance. Make arrangements for alternate transportation.
Kansas City intersections can be dangerous, but with a common sense approach, we all can help reduce the number of accidents on our area roadways. If you or somebody you love was injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of another party, reach out to a skilled Kansas City personal injury lawyer to learn about your available legal options.