Highway Car Accidents
Most accidents do not happen on the highway. They generally occur closer to home because there is a sense of familiarity with the area that makes drivers unconsciously a bit more relaxed, and perhaps too willing to take safety for granted. Some people refer to this as “driving on autopilot.” Intersections are other extremely dangerous places where a high frequency of accidents occur.
But because highways accidents generally occur at higher speeds, they are often the most dangerous. A sideswipe accident on the highway between two cars can easily affect other cars as they try to take evasive action. Highway accidents are extremely likely to turn into chaos quickly.
Missouri Car Accident Facts and Statistics
St. Louis has been ranked one of the top 25 cities for frequency and number of car accidents. In 2016 there were 940 people killed in car accidents, with 64 occurring in St. Louis.
The good news is that according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatalities from car accidents have decreased by 26 percent. But one of the areas of concern they note is how Missourians wear seatbelts with less frequency than the national average compared to drivers and passengers in other states. This alarming statistic might sway you to consider buckling up — they also reported that 6 of every 10 fatalities in 2017 involved the deceased person not wearing a seatbelt.
How do I get a police accident report?
The records division of the police department handles these requests. In order to maintain privacy, a police report will only be given to authorized people. These include:
- The victim of the crash
- The person deemed at fault in the accident
- Witnesses of the accident
- Family members of any deceased parties killed as a result of being in the accident. A death certificate will need to be provided.
- Family members can also acquire a police report if one of the people involved in the accident is deemed incompetent by a doctor. A statement from a doctor on official letterhead is necessary to use as proof.
If you are requesting a report for yourself, then you must have your request notarized. You can submit it via U.S. Mail. You are asked not to submit payment, as it is determined based on the complexity of your file. The records clerk will contact you from the police department regarding the charges for your request. The fees include a $12 per hour processing fee, plus a ten-cent fee per every page that needs to be processed.
An attorney or someone who was not involved in the accident, but has been authorized by someone who was, can also submit a notorized request to the records division. If the request is on company letterhead then they do not need to have the request notarized.
What To Do If You’re In A Highway Car Accident
If you’ve been in an accident, immediately assess the situation. Are there other cars around you? Do you see flames, something missing or broken, or smell smoke? Are the passengers injured? Immediately move yourself to safety on the shoulder or side of the road. Turn off the car, put on your hazard lights, and call 911.
Be sure to exchange the following information with the other driver: full name, address, phone number, email address, driver’s license number, and insurance company and policy number.