Car accidents don't discriminate

Nearly every day when residents in the Kansas City area turn on the news or open the newspaper there's a story about a serious or fatal car or truck accident. Few people, however, give much thought to these accidents and their causes until they or someone they know is directly impacted.

During 2013 alone, a total of 757 people died in car accidents in the state of Missouri. Thousands more likely suffered serious and disabling injuries as a result of a traffic accident. Regardless of age, race or socio-economic status; anyone can be a victim of a car accident and the vast majority of car accidents are 100 percent preventable.

Traffic laws exist to keep drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe and all drivers and passengers would be wise to abide by traffic laws. Seat belts are one of the most important and basic safety features in any motor vehicle and have been credited with saving countless lives. It's important, therefore, that every driver and passenger buckle-up upon getting into a vehicle and ensure children under the age of 12 are properly restrained.

The vast majority of traffic accidents are the result of driver errors. Speeding, tailgating, failing to yield and running a stoplight or stop sign are all commonly cited as causes of car accidents. Often driving errors result when a driver is distracted or in a hurry. Today, cellphones and other mobile devices are major sources of distraction for drivers and these types of devices should be turned off and stowed while operating a motor vehicle.

Drinking and driving is also a major cause of serious and fatal car accidents. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, during 2012, 34 percent of all fatal motor vehicle accidents in Missouri involved a drunk driver. Thousands more men, women and children were injured in car accidents caused by drunk drivers. It's never ok to drink and drive and individuals who plan to drink would be wise to call a cab or designate a sober driver.

So far this year, Missouri has seen a 9 percent increase in the total number of fatal motor vehicle accidents. Kansas City area residents who have been injured or lost a loved one in a car accident may choose to take legal action. An attorney who handles personal injury matters can answer questions and provide advice and guidance through the legal process.

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