What are the Deadliest Roads in Missouri?
Originally posted February 21, 2022. Updated March 17, 2023.
Driving anywhere presents a risk, but your chances of getting into an accident may increase on Missouri roads compared to in other states. According to the latest Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) statistics, the motor vehicle fatality rate in Missouri was 16.0 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants (987 fatalities in total in a year). That’s 30% higher than the national average (11.7 per 100,000)!
However, the fatalities are not distributed evenly across the state, and specific roads have gained a reputation for being deadlier than others. Learn about the top deadliest roads in Missouri and find out where they rank compared to the rest of the nation.
1. HIGHWAY 63
US Route 63, better known as US 63 or Highway 63, is a non-interstate highway created in 1926, starting in Ashland, Wisconsin, and ending in Ruston, Louisiana. This route spans six states, including the entirety of Missouri, which it bisects from north to south.
In 2019, the fleet tracking and management company Geotab analyzed and compiled two years of crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). They found that the 337-mile stretch of Highway 63 in Missouri saw 158 crashes and 179 fatalities from 2009 to 2019, or just over 1 death every 2 miles. Consequently, Highway 63 was named the deadliest route in Missouri.
2. INTERSTATE 70
Interstate 70 (I-70) is one of the interstate network’s longest and most important highways. I-70 spans 2,151 miles from Cove Fort, Utah, to Hagerstown, Maryland, and crosses 10 states.
The Missouri section of I-70 is about 250 miles long and crosses the entirety of the state from Kansas City to St. Louis. Most of the accidents and fatalities on the Missouri I-70 occur in these two cities.
I-70 is infamous nationwide for being one of the deadliest highways in the United States, with 134 fatalities in 2020. It frequently ranks as one of the most dangerous highways in the states it traverses.
3. HIGHWAY 71
US Route 71 (US 71, Highway 71) is a 1,500 mile stretch of non-interstate highway. It spans the entire contiguous United States from Bemidji, Minnesota, in the north, to Krotz Springs, Louisiana, in the south.
Highway 71 crosses 6 states, and the Missouri section is one of the longest, spanning almost 377 miles and passing through Kansas City. The Kansas City sections are among the deadliest in the state, with a single 7.8 mile stretch (located on the Bruce R. Watkins Drive) being the site of numerous fatalities.
4. HIGHWAY 21
Missouri Route 21 (MO 21), often called Highway 21 by locals, is a relatively short north-south non-interstate highway. Highway 21 starts in Affton (south of St. Louis) and ends at the Arkansas state line, continuing as Arkansas Highway 115.
Although it is only 188 miles long, Highway 21 is one of the deadliest roads in Missouri, due in part to what is historically and popularly known as the “Missouri Blood Alley.” The name references other routes in the United States that have received similar nicknames (e.g., the infamous California State Route 37).
The Missouri Blood Alley is a 28-mile stretch of Highway 21, beginning just past the Meramec River and the St. Louis county line and ending in De Soto, MO and has a historically high fatality rate.
Despite efforts to modernize the highway and bring it up to multi-lane freeway standards, MO 21 remains known as the “Blood Alley.” The ominous stretch of road saw 18 accidents causing fatalities or injuries between 2006 and 2016.
INJURED IN A SERIOUS CRASH? CONTACT OUR MISSOURI PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS
Since 1973, Cofman Townsley has helped countless families in Missouri and Southern Illinois obtain the compensation they need after serious and even deadly motor vehicle crashes. Our team of Missouri car accident lawyers has been proudly representing the interests of our clients for over four decades. If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident and needs legal help, contact us today for a free initial case review.