The Reducing Accidents on Highway 152 Task Force, established to find ways to reduce accidents along Highway 152, released its conclusions in fall 2011. While the suggestions made by the task force are specific to Highway 152, authorities working to reduce motor vehicle accidents on highways throughout Missouri can learn from the task force’s ideas.
Among the specific recommendations, the task force recommends building an overpass over I-35 and making improvements to an existing bridge and an existing highway interchange. Many of the task force’s other recommendations can be universally applied to reduce accidents on highways throughout Missouri, including:
- Reducing speed limits
- Adding rumble strips to the sides of highways
- Reducing congestion by identifying alternate routes
- Adding extra exits to businesses, when appropriate for the highway
- Adding flashing yellow signals for left turns
- Adding red light warnings
According to Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) statistics, the most common causes of the 151,353 car accidents on Missouri roads in 2010 (the year the most recent statistics are available for) were:
- Driver Inattention – cause of 27.1 percent of accidents and accounted for 23.4 percent of total fatalities
- Driving Too Fast – cause of 17.8 percent of accidents and accounted for 38.8 percent of total fatalities
- Failing to Yield – cause of 15.3 percent of accidents and accounted for 12.3 percent of total fatalities
MoDOT statistics also show that drinking and driving accounted for 25.3 percent of traffic fatalities even though it only caused 4.1 percent of all accidents. Car accidents can leave drivers and passengers with expensive medical bills, broken bones and other injuries, and lost wages from time spent recovering.