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Missouri Traffic Fatalities Increase 12%

Friday, Feb. 19th 2021

As Northland personal injury lawyers in Kansas City, we constantly encounter clients who sustain personal injuries when involved in car accidents. Recent studies suggest that Missouri traffic fatalities increased in 2020 by 12% compared to the previous year. Over time Northland Injury Law has represented several clients with  auto accident injuries, many of whom have personally encountered the injuries associated with distracted driving.


According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 989 lives were lost in Missouri traffic crashes in 2020, up from 881 in 2019.

“Nearly every fatal crash that occurs is preventable,” said Missouri State Highway Patrol Public Information and Education Director, Cpt. John Hotz. “Over 90% of these crashes were the result of someone simply making a poor decision, primarily: driving too fast, driving distracted or driving impaired. Many of those killed were not wearing a seat belt.”

Despite traffic volumes in the state being significantly down for much of the year, Missouri experienced its largest number of traffic fatalities since 2007. In particular, there were notable increases in unbuckled and speed related fatalities, with both experiencing approximately a 25% increase from the previous year. In 2020, 67% of drivers and passengers killed in car crashes were unbuckled and preliminary numbers indicate 389 people were killed in crashes involving excessive speed or driving too fast for conditions. In addition, there were 126 pedestrians killed in 2020 –the largest number of pedestrian fatalities in Missouri ever recorded.

“The pandemic reminded us even if a large portion of vehicles are removed from the roadways, poor driving behaviors still have significant and often deadly consequences.” said MoDOT State Highway Safety and Traffic Engineer Nicole Hood. “We continue to work diligently in achieving the ultimate goal – zero traffic fatalities in Missouri. This year, we’re excited to introduce Missouri’s new strategic plan, a tool we hope will help us eventually reach that goal.”

Missouri’s new strategic highway safety plan, Show-Me Zero, Driving Missouri Toward Safer Roads, identifies four key focus areas to help turn the tide: occupant protection (seat belts, car seats and helmets), distracted driving, speed and aggressive driving, and impaired driving. More than that, the plan identifies ways all Missourians can help reduce the number of fatalities on Missouri roadways. Show-Me Zero includes strategies for families and individuals as well as groups such as schools, businesses, local public agencies, law enforcement, health organizations, and statewide officials.

“So, how can you help? Ultimately, our success will be dependent upon everyone’s willingness to take personal responsibility for safely using the transportation system and demanding others do the same,” Hood said.

Drivers carry a huge responsibility in operating a vehicle, and other road users like pedestrians also share responsibility when using the roadways. Nearly all these fatalities are preventable when roadway users resolve to use the transportation system in an appropriate manner. When we make good decisions, lives are saved.

Show-Me Zero highlights four simple actions we can all take to improve safety on Missouri’s roads: Buckle up. Put the phone down. Slow down. Drive sober. Take a look at the new plan and do your part to create a safer Missouri. The plan can be viewed in its entirety at www.savemolives.com. #BUPD


If you or a loved one have suffered accident injuries in a car accident call Northland Injury Law at 816-400-4878 to speak to a Missouri automobile accident lawyer today for help in recovering the compensation you need.  An experienced personal injury attorney can ease some of the burden by engaging in fact-finding, gathering the necessary documentation, and crafting concise and thorough demands for settlement of your claim.


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The Northland Injury Law Firm has been practicing in the Kansas City area for many years. Our founders, Max Von Erdsmannsdorff and Steve Mowry, built a strong foundation for the firm. Since Eric Bartlett joined the firm in 1996, Northland Injury Law has earned a reputation for success, honesty and compassion in personal injury and worker’s compensation.

I found Northland Injury Law to be very professional and honest! They kept me up to date on my case. I would highly recommend the whole firm for all your legal needs!!” – Michael T.

Northland Injury Law is proud of the relationships they’ve built with the clients they have served in the Northland and surrounding areas.  Their many great results for seriously injured people have helped their clients recover the significant economic losses that attend such serious injuries.

When it comes to a lawsuit after an accident or injury, representation matters! Most people do not realize that insurance companies have teams of lawyers, investigators, photographers and defense experts who immediately go to work following a serious accident involving their insureds.  They hire these people to minimize their exposure throughout the claims process and to reduce the amount received by the victim. Northland Injury Law aims to level the playing field for their clients.

This is an excellent law firm. They helped me out after an accident and did an awesome job. I would recommend this law firm to anyone who needs a good lawyer.” – Toni B.

Between them, Mr. Mowry and Mr. Bartlett have over  50 combined years of legal experience in the Kansas City Northland area. They have both been recognized by KC Magazine as “Top attorneys in Missouri and Kansas” and both have been recognized in the National Top 100 Trial Attorneys.

If you require the services of excellent local lawyers after an accident or injury, call Northland Injury Law today for a free consultation at 816-400-4878.

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