MYTH: Most traffic accidents in Missouri happen in nasty weather -- thunder storms, freezing rain, snow -- when the road conditions are hazardous.
According to Missouri State Highway Patrol, in 2008 (the last year for which complete statistics are available), 58.47 percent of all accidents occurred in "clear" weather conditions -- just 2.97 percent in the snow. Road conditions were "dry" when 73.76 percent of accidents occurred.
MYTH: "All accidents" might include a lot of fender benders. The worst crashes, the fatal accidents, take place in the bad weather.
In 2008, among fatal accidents, the percentage that occurred on "dry" roads was even higher at 79.29, and 57.11 percent happened under "clear" weather conditions.
MYTH: There's more traffic during the rush hour in the morning and evening, so there's obviously more accidents reported during those times.
Most accidents in '08 -- 27 percent -- happened between noon and 3:59 p.m.
MYTH: Most crashes happen on the highways and interstates.
In 2008, 44.18 percent of accidents took place on city streets -- compared to 14.98 percent on state highways, 12.23 percent on interstates and 6.79 percent on U.S. highways. Among fatal accidents, most -- 36.44 percent -- happened on city streets.
MYTH: Speed is almost always a factor in accidents.
Inattentive drivers accounted for most of the accidents in 2008 at 27.77 percent. Speed was a factor in 19.32 percent of all accidents, with driving "too fast for conditions" being a bigger problem -- by nearly 6 to 1 -- than exceeding the posted legal speed limit.
Failing too yield (15.78 percent) and "following too close" (13.87 percent) are also leading causes of accidents.
MYTH: Fatal accidents almost always involve two vehicles colliding.
In 2008, 57.51 percent of all the fatal Missouri highway traffic accidents involved only one vehicle.
MYTH: It's more dangerous driving in the city than in rural areas.
In 2008, statewide 696 of the 960 traffic deaths occurred in rural areas.
MYTH: A lot of accidents are caused by drivers with physical impairments.
Drivers with physical impairments were inovled in just 1.87 percent of all accidents in Missouri in 2008.
Just The Facts
In Missouri in 2008, 60.09 percent of traffic facility victims were not wearing seat belts.
Just 4.87 out of every 100 traffic crashes in Missouri involved drinking. But these crashes proved especially deadly. Out of every 100 fatal accidents, 28.64 percent involved drinking.
Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day represent just 1.6 percent of the entire year. Yet, in 2008, 8.75 percent of traffic deaths in Missouri happened on those holidays.
Missouri State Highway Patrol
Traffic Safety Reports
National Highway Traffic