Police: Summer Driving in St. Louis off to Inauspicious Start

Police: Summer Driving in St. Louis off to Inauspicious Start

If Memorial Day weekend was any indication, we don’t expect a safe summer on St. Louis roadways.

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According to authorities, highway crashes and arrests this most recent holiday were at record highs, totaling 295 wrecks, 130 injuries, 8 fatalities and nearly 150 arrests for drunken driving. Additionally, there were eight boat crashes, though there were no fatalities in those accidents. St. Louis Metropolitan Police reported three car accident deaths. There were a total of 635 speeding incidents – accidents and non-accidents included.

St. Louis accident attorneys are hoping the summer doesn’t continue to be so dangerous. The statistics, however, aren’t on our side.

Consider, first of all, that Memorial Day marks the beginning of “The 100 Deadliest Days of Summer” for teen drivers. Summer vacations are when teen drivers are the most likely to lose their lives behind the wheel. On average, 261 teens die during each summer month nationally – a 26 percent spike compared to the rest of the year, according to AAA.

Just recently in Fair Grove, a 16-year-old was killed in a single-car crash as he reportedly drove his vehicle at a high rate of speed on Farm Road 193, overturned and struck a tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene, and Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers said it was the 34th fatality of the year.

Over the last five years, almost 4,000 teen driver and passenger deaths have been reported between Memorial and Labor Day. Inexperienced drivers can inevitably make the road a more dangerous place not just for themselves, but for everyone.

Then there is the Fourth of July. While most people assume the most dangerous driving
day is New Year’s Eve, they’re wrong. It’s actually July 4th – for several years running, according to research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The institute reviewed accident data for the past four years and determined that while an average day results in 114 traffic deaths, July 4 results in 148 traffic deaths. It was followed by July 15 and August 13, both with 143 fatalities and shortly thereafter by New Year’s Day, with 140 deaths.

Researchers theorize the cluster of deadly days in summer have to do with the fact that there are far more people on the road during those times. While alcohol certainly played a role, as did the fact that people tended to be driving greater distances, the weather tended to draw more people out for travel in the first place.

This is another reason we can expect more crashes: Summer vacation travel. There are more drivers venturing into unfamiliar areas, perhaps leaving them fatigued and distracted. Vehicles are getting greater use without proper maintenance. There are more bicyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians and trucks on the road. Still, few people bother to double check for them.

There is also the potential for an increase in summer road construction, as departments of transportation and tollway authorities look to improve the roadways when the time is ideal. Of course, this can lead to unexpected slowdowns, which in turn can lead to more crashes.

Ultimately, our wish is for everyone to have a safe and happy summer. We hope Memorial Day weekend wasn’t a foreshadowing of what we can expect throughout the next three months.

Additional Resources:
Memorial Day weekend accidents, fatalities increased, May 27, 2014, By Aja J. Williams, KSDK

More Blog Entries:
St. Louis DUI Accidents – Defendants Seeking Legal Loopholes, March 28, 2014, St. Louis Car Accident Attorney Blog

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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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