2016 was the deadliest year on U.S. highways and roads since 2007. Almost 40,000 people lost their lives in car accidents in 2016.
That raises an interesting question—Where do most fatalities occur? On average, more accident fatalities happen on interstates, highways, and urban/city streets than in rural areas. This makes sense when you consider the fact that city areas and highways usually see far more traffic. City streets also see foot and bicycle traffic which can add to the potential for collisions.
But where are the busiest—and consequently generally most dangerous—interstates and highways in Missouri? A study was performed by Geotab, a vehicle tracking company, that looked at the most dangerous interstates in every state. Recorded fatality rates were considered and adjusted for average daily traffic totals. The most dangerous highways were ones that had higher fatal crash rates.
The study found that Missouri’s most dangerous highway is Missouri’s U.S. 63. U.S. 63 has a fatal crash rate of 0.7 accident fatalities per million vehicles on the road. This data was taken from over the last 10 years.
Comparatively, Missouri’s U.S. 63 is safer than 22 of the nation’s other highways that were deemed the most dangerous in their respective states. Florida’s U.S. 1 is the most dangerous highway in the nation, with a fatality rate of 2.8 fatalities per million vehicles. This puts Missouri almost directly in the middle of the pack.
How Can We Decrease Highway Fatalities in Missouri?
While other states are worse off than Missouri regarding highway fatalities, we have a long way to go until we can call our highways among those safest in the nation. Safety should always be our #1 concern no matter what highway, interstate, or road we’re driving on.
In May 2017, the Kansas City Star interviewed Ray Shank, traffic safety engineer with the Missouri Department of Transportation, about what improvements could be made to make Missouri’s highways safer. According to Shank, the Missouri Department of Transportation is working to install rumble strips on each shoulder of U.S. 63 and guard cable in the median.
Rumble strips are bumpy grooves which cause a vehicle to rumble if a driver drifts out of the farthest lanes. Similar strips have been installed on roughly 80% of U.S. 63 so far. These strips, along with a cable in the median, should help prevent accidents caused by lane drifting or swerving for those in the outer lanes.
Improvements like these are one step toward making U.S. 63 safer. It’s also vital for Missouri residents, visitors, travelers, and commuters alike to remember that it’s up to everyone to prioritize safety while driving on U.S. 63 and all our state’s highways and surface streets. Distracted drivers, drivers impaired by alcohol, and drivers who speed or otherwise drive recklessly all cause car accidents that are 100% avoidable. If we all do our part to avoid encouraging these behaviors, we may see less accidents.
If you or someone you love has been in a Missouri car accident and feel the crash was not your fault, legal recourse may be an option. By filing a claim against a negligent driver, you may send a message that encourages them to never make the same mistake twice. To learn more, get in touch with Thomas Law Offices today. We’re ready to offer our assistance however we can.