How Do St. Louis Drivers Compare to the Rest of the U.S.?
The city of St. Louis has become known for having some of the best drivers in the country. St. Louis drivers are ranked second-best in driving in 2021, following Birmingham, Alabama, according to QuoteWizard in their annual national survey. While good news for St. Louis, it doesn’t mean crashes never happen. And when they do, they are often the result of driver negligence.
St. Louis has more speeding tickets annually than Birmingham. They also have more driving citations and DUIs, lowering the city’s overall safe driving score. These behaviors can cause serious injuries and even death if a car accident occurs. Working with a St. Louis car accident lawyer can help defend your right to compensation if you are involved in one of these accidents.
QuoteWizard ranks St. Louis in the top five U.S. cities for the lowest number of speeding tickets and citations. Other factors influencing safety on St. Louis roads include:
- Expansive highway system: The state highway system in Missouri is the seventh-largest in the country, covering 33,830 miles. There are 1,380 miles of interstate highways in the state, ranking it fifth in the nation. This means that drivers can travel many miles within the state and in St. Louis.
- Low congestion: The population of St. Louis was only 301,578 as of 2020, with a low population density of 5,157.5 per square mile. This helps to ease traffic congestion and make driving easier throughout the city.
- Safety belt use: Many Americans understand the importance of safety belt usage in reducing injuries and the severity of injuries in a crash, and so do the people in Missouri. According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, safety belt usage in Missouri is 86.1%, just below the national average of 90.7%.
- Short commute times: Due to the low congestion and expansive highways, workers in St. Louis can easily commute to work. St. Louis drivers have an average commute time of 24.38 minutes. This is shorter than the average U.S. commute time of 27.6 minutes.
Despite St. Louis having among the best drivers in the nation, the number of traffic accidents statewide has actually increased by 12% since 2020. Distracted driving, speeding, or impaired driving contributed to 90% of statewide traffic accidents and deaths.
In Missouri, more than 389 people died in speeding-related crashes in 2020. Speeding is one of the most dangerous things a person can do behind the wheel because of the potential risk of injury and death. It also decreases the effectiveness and deployment time of airbags and other safety devices.
Driving while distracted can involve talking to other passengers, changing the radio station, or checking your phone while behind the wheel. Nearly nine out of ten people use a smartphone while driving.
According to the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, the number of cell phone-related crashes has climbed by 30%. Because of the dangers of texting while driving, the state requires the use of “hands-free” devices. This prohibits driving with a cell phone or other portable device.
Driving under the influence
From 2016 to 2020, over 1,028 fatal car accidents involved drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol on Missouri highways. There has been a decrease in alcohol-related deaths because of public campaigns and law enforcement. Missouri has seen a 100% increase in drug-related car accidents in the past five years.
The increase in drug-related crashes is mostly because of the opioid crisis and increasing marijuana use while driving, according to the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. Marijuana users are more likely to be involved in car accidents, according to the NHTSA’s Drug and Alcohol Crash Risk study.
Although St. Louis drivers are known for safe driving when compared to a lot of other major cities in the U.S., negligence is still very common and can result in serious accidents on Missouri’s roads. Drivers have a lot of responsibilities when behind the wheel, including following posted speed limits, putting down their phones, and avoiding drugs or alcohol before driving.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident on Missouri roads because of someone else’s negligence, contact Cofman Townsley to schedule a free consultation. Our St. Louis car accident lawyers can help you with your case and work with you to obtain fair compensation for your injuries.