Missouri Officials Report Increased Traffic Fatalities in 2020

With millions under state and local orders to stay at home and practice social distancing, you might think that there would be a dramatic reduction in car accident injuries and deaths. Unfortunately, a new report shows that Missouri traffic deaths have already increased by 3% in 2020, even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter our daily lives and habits.

At the same time, the state Department of Transportation reports that passenger traffic has decreased by 47% across the state, with Kansas City and St. Louis officials reporting reductions as high as 49% in urban areas. Compared to this same time last year, however, there have already been several more car accident deaths across Missouri, leading officials to wonder why the fatality rates have remained so high during the crisis.

One official has an answer: In an article for Missourinet, Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain John Hotz said that there has been a major increase in reckless driving and speeding on open roads. According to Hotz, the police are routinely seeing drivers going 90 miles-per-hour or more on highways, to the point that it is “unfortunately becoming commonplace.”

Holding Reckless Drivers Accountable for Injuries

Under Missouri vehicle code section 304.012.1, it is illegal for drivers to proceed at a speed that would “endanger the property of another or the life or limb of any person.” Whenever a person breaks the posted speed limit by 20 miles per hour or more, it is automatically considered “reckless driving,” and the perpetrator can be found both criminally and civilly liable for injuries caused in an accident.

At Cullan & Cullan, our car accident attorneys urge everyone to stay within the legal speed limits and do their part to keep Missouri safe during this crisis. Reckless driving can lead to some of the most devastating injuries, disabilities, and deaths – and those who are seriously injured because of a reckless driver have a clear right to hold them accountable under the law. If you or your loved ones do become hurt in an accident with a negligent driver, our Kansas City team can help you pursue a civil claim for compensation.

Contact us at (816) 253-8606 today or submit our online form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a personal injury attorney today.


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