Missouri Car Accident Fatalities 2022


According to the Missouri Department of Transportation (MDOT), their primary priority—as well as that of the Missouri Highway Patrol is to “Promote safety and enforce traffic laws for motorists.” Despite that premise, fatal car accidents increased in Missouri for three years in a row, peaking in 2022 with the state’s highest number of traffic fatalities since 2006. This statistic is alarming, considering the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports an overall nationwide decrease of 0.3% between 2021 and 2022 despite an increase in driving miles by 29.3 billion more miles or 0.9% after the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

Car Accident Fatalities in Missouri in 2022

Missouri has a higher instance of car accident statistics than many other states with one of the highest per-capita rates in the nation. In 2022, the state saw 14.4 fatalities per every 100,000 residents compared to the national average of 11.2 fatalities per 100,000 people.

An average of three people die in Missouri traffic fatalities every day. Statistics also show the following alarming data:

  • Missouri car accident fatalities increased by 20% between 2019 and 2022
  • Pedestrian and bicycle accidents in Missouri increased by 19% in the same two years
  • Expert research from AAA suggests the increase in fatalities correlates with overall increased risk-taking behaviors since the COVID-19 pandemic, including fewer people wearing seatbelts
  • In 2022, fatal car accidents in Missouri cost the state $38 billion in societal harm value, which includes an estimated $9 billion in economic costs in addition to $29 billion in quality-of-life costs

The Safe System approach to reducing car accidents in Missouri focuses on eliminating car accident fatalities by promoting safer roads, safer vehicles, safer speeds, safer road users, and improved post-crash care.

What’s Causing An Increase in Missouri Car Accidents?

According to MDOT’s Assistant to the State Highway Safety and Traffic Engineer, Jon Nelson, a significant number of Missouri car accidents are caused by speeding, distracted, or impaired drivers. He cites the following alarming facts about car accidents in Missouri:

  • Speeding and aggressive driving maneuvers cause about half of all car accidents in Missouri, including crashes caused by driving too fast for road conditions in inclement weather as well as exceeding the speed limit in general
  • Between 20 and 25 percent of car accidents result from impaired drivers under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances
  • Distracted driving, including distraction from hands-free technology. Hands-free technology still takes the driver’s attention away from the road while possibly giving a false sense of security to drivers. Distracted driving accounts for 20% of traffic fatalities in Missouri

In Missouri’s fatal crashes, six out of 10 fatalities occurred to unseatbelted motorists.

Is Missouri’s Infrastructure Contributing to Car Accidents?

Missouri has the sixth-largest highway system in the United States. Unfortunately, Missouri ranks 17th for fatality rates on urban highways, though it fares better in urban areas at 42nd in the state. Missouri also ranks 39th in bridges with structural deficiencies and 38th in overall traffic congestion. The state considers an estimated 75% of Missouri’s roads to be in good condition, leaving room for improvement in 25% of roadways. Around $6.5 million federal dollars have been designated for repairs to Missouri’s infrastructure over the next five years.

If you are a victim of a car accident on Missouri’s roads, a St. Louis car accident lawyer will protect your best interests. Contact us today.