Common Causes of Car Accidents

speed, alcohol, distraction and manufacturing defects among the top concerns

The number of injury accidents in Missouri declined steadily from 1996 to 2011, but that final year still saw more than 51,000 injuries and 786 deaths. In 2012, total accidents dropped again, but fatalities increased by five percent to 826. In a state where one person is injured or killed on the roads every 10.1 minutes, it’s clear that more can be done to further reduce car crashes. At the Law Office of Donna Clark Frayne, we’ve seen a great deal of tragedy in more than 20 years of practicing personal injury law as a St. Louis car accident attorney. We’re committed to recovering damage awards for our clients, not only to compensate their injuries, but to force changes in driving habits, highway design and construction, and automobile design and manufacture, so our roadways can be safer.

contributing factors to car crashes in Missouri

Every driver has a part to play in making our roadways safer. Statistics from the Missouri Department of Public Safety point to several auto accident factors motorists need to be aware of, including:


In 2012, alcohol was a contributing factor in 207 fatal crashes that took 216 lives. Forty-one percent of all fatal car crashes were alcohol-related.


Distraction contributed to 88 fatal crashes in 2012, in which 92 people died. Distraction is a broad category, encompassing everything from eating to tuning the radio, but most criticism falls on the use of cellphones for talking and texting while driving.


Excessive speed, either above the posted limit or too fast for conditions, was a factor in 306 crashes and 343 traffic deaths.

automobile defects

Big or small, a defective problem in an automobile is extremely dangerous. In 2012 in Missouri, defective vehicles were cited in 10 fatalities.

filing suit when an automotive defect causes an injury accident

There have been numerous recent examples of automobile defects causing crashes with tragic consequences. From Firestone tires shedding their tread, to the malfunction of the brake shift interlock on Nissan Sentras and Altimas, to Toyota’s stuck accelerator pedal and GM faulty ignition. If you or a loved one has been hurt because of a defective automotive part, your cause of action is not against the other driver. You have to take on the auto manufacturer. That company is not just concerned with denying your claim, but every claim that would arise if yours is successful. To be successful, you need a skilled St. Louis, Missouri car wreck attorney like Donna who is a genuine fighter, dedicated to getting the best possible results for you.

Should Missouri outlaw texting while driving?

At least fourteen states ban all drivers from using hand-held cellular devices while driving. Thirty-eight states ban use by novice drivers. Forty-four states ban texting for all drivers. Missouri has not outlawed any form of cellphone use, although drivers under age 22 who text while driving are subject to a $200 fine. However, if programs to educate drivers against irresponsible use of cell phones prove ineffective, we may hear an increasing number of “Show Me” state residents say, “Show me the legislation.”

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