St. Peters, MO (Law Firm Newswire) January 7, 2014 - Missouri drivers ranked the seventh worst in the U.S. for safety, and traffic fatalities in the state have also increased.
In Missouri and across the United States, the holiday season marks a prime time for automobile travel. However, this holiday season’s journeys come with a caveat: the Show Me State has earned the dubious distinction of seventh worst for driver safety.
Missouri landed its unfavorable ranking (tied for the position with North Carolina) with poor scores in a series of metrics compiled by CarinsuranceComparison.com, an online resource for comparative insurance rates. The data categories used included: fatality rates per 100 million miles traveled; citations given for disobeying seat belt laws and traffic signals; tickets for speeding and careless driving; and infractions for driving while under the influence or drugs or alcohol.
Even when one sets aside these comparative ratings, Missouri’s record in at least one other barometer for roadway safety — traffic fatalities — has deteriorated according to the latest figures from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), released in December.
According to the NHTSA, Missouri saw 784 traffic fatalities in 2011 and an increase to 826 in 2012. In addition, the number of traffic fatalities in which at least one of the drivers involved was found to have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher, rose from 258 (33 percent) in 2011 to 280 (34 percent) in 2012. Indeed, the figures for traffic deaths tied to a BAC of 0.15 or above rose from 174 (22 percent) in 2011 to 196 (24 percent) in 2012.
Holiday-season highway conditions in Missouri have been particularly treacherous, contributing to a spate of accidents and fatalities across the state in December. But law enforcement officials also cite increases in risky driving as a key contributor to the state’s more dangerous roads. They urge motorists to exercise more caution.
“We want to encourage everyone to slow your speed down,” said Missouri Highway Patrol Sergeant Al Nothum. “We really don’t want to see that [number of traffic fatalities] climb any higher here.”
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