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With the start of a new year, traffic on highways and thoroughfares may still be bad long after people have returned home from holiday celebrations. You might think a return to normal routine would reduce the number of cars on the roads, but that is not always the case.

St. Louis is a busy city with varying degrees of roadways and drivers at any given time. Where does it rank on the list for car accidents?

St. Louis ranked second

According to data from the National Safety Council, 2017 was quite deadly for motorists. While the number was down less than 1 percent, overall it was up 6 percent from 2015 figures. Over 40,000 people died as a result of injuries sustained in car accidents across the country.

Data and information gathered from various sources helped populate a list of the 25 most dangerous cities for motorists. The resulting ranking puts things into perspective for drivers in St. Louis. The city comes in at number two, ranking only behind Columbus, OH. It may be quite eye-opening to see cities such as Los Angeles and Sacramento listed as less likely to have accidents than St. Louis.

Contributing factors

Why is St. Louis ranked so high? One of the reasons has to do with the road system. Missouri in general has more rural roads and, therefore, higher speed limits. State law also does not make failure to wear a seatbelt an offense the police can pull people over for. It is, instead, a secondary offense. States with stiffer laws governing the punishment for failing to wear seat belts have fewer accidents. In 2016, Missouri ranked as one of the deadliest states when it came to motor vehicle accidents.

No matter what the reason, St. Louis is an accident-prone city. Buckling up and heeding speed limit changes from rural to urban roads may help reduce motor vehicle incidents. The stiffest penalty you may face is death.