Missouri Auto Accidents: Increase in Roadway Fatalities Already Reported in 2012

Missouri Auto Accidents: Increase in Roadway Fatalities Already Reported in 2012

After years of decreasing motor vehicle accident fatalities, we’ve hit a turning point. Actually, we’ve pretty much made a U-turn. According to the most recent traffic statistics, we’ve seen the number of roadway fatalities increase by nearly 14 percent during the first three months of 2012 in comparison to the first three months of 2011.

Safety advocates are rightfully concerned. Many trumpeted enforcement efforts and safety campaigns as reasons for the downward trending fatality statistics seen throughout the economic downturn. Others had already placed bets that we would see just such an increase as the economy began to recover.

Typically, the first quarter of every year is the safest. That means that we can only expect our road conditions to get worse as the year wears on. The fall travel season will follow back-to-school travel and the year-end holidays. The weather will begin to deteriorate. Thousands of teenagers will return to school and get their driver’s licenses. As a consequence, the state will see some of the highest accident risks of the year between now and New Year’s.


During the first quarter of 2012, there were nearly 8,000 people killed in traffic accidents in the U.S. During the same time in 2011, there were 6,720 road fatalities. The reason for the spike, after so many years of reductions, has safety officials scratching their heads.

Our St. Louis personal injury lawyers understand that some believe that this increase is a direct result of the unseasonably warm weather we’ve had in recent months. More people are likely to travel when it’s warmer out as opposed to when it’s cold and snowy. Others point to the recovering economy for increased recreational and business travel. With the increase in travelers, we see an increase in the number of vehicle miles traveled. When we see an increase in this number, previous traffic trends let us know that we’re going to see an increase in the number of accident fatalities.

According to CNN, motorists have traveled nearly 9.7 billion miles more during the first three months of 2012 than they did during the first three months of 2011.

“After reaching a 60-year low last year, it is disappointing for AAA to see driver fatalities rise,” said Jacob Nelson with the Automobile Association of America. . “Examination of federal data show that traffic crashes occur more frequently as the number of miles traveled increases.”

The number of first-quarter fatalities has been dropping with every year since 2006, until this year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), this years increase is the second largest year-to-year quarterly increase in roadways deaths since these records were first kept more than 30 years ago.

These accidents aren’t only affecting motorists either. Thousands of these fatalities are of pedestrians, bicyclists and other vulnerable travelers. It’s important to remember that we all have rights on our roadways and these rights not only need to be recognized, but they need to be respected, too.

Despite all of the safe driving campaigns and new laws to help to reduce the risks of accidents, we’re clearly seeing far too many injuries and fatalities on Missouri roads. Drivers are asked to make safe driving a priority to help to make our roadways safe for everyone. This recent increase is a number that we can all help to bring down together, but we need everyone’s cooperation to do so as we head into the busy fall travel season.

Additional Resources:

U.S. traffic fatalities soar 13.5 percent in first quarter of 2012, by Jim Barnett, CNN

More Blog Entries:

St. Louis Motorcycle Accident Kills 2 Vacationers, St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer Blog, July 12, 2012

Distracted Driving Car Accidents in St. Louis a Spring Danger, St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer Blog, April 10, 2012

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Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC

Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC is a litigation law firm that represents individuals and families in serious personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout Missouri. We help people who have been injured in all types of accidents—including car or truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and much more. Whether your injury is something that can cause long-term issues like a brain injury or spinal cord injury, or it is something you’ll likely make a full recovery from, we are here to help.

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