Joplin releases 2020 traffic crash statistics


JOPLIN, Mo. — Joplin streets were a bit safer last year, seeing a significant drop in crashes. But the impact of those wrecks was often severe.

For drivers like Jo Davis, there’s the wreck itself. But it doesn’t stop there.

Jo Davis, Local Driver, said, “On north Range Line I was stopped in the inside lane waiting on the car in front of me to turn left and I got rear ended.”

Luckily Jo Davis wasn’t injured but it totaled her car. And changed how she views Range Line traffic.

“I didn’t do anything wrong but yes you need to be careful – people are crazy out there.”

Range Line was a busy spot for wrecks in 2020. From 13th to 35th Street, it took four of the top five spots most likely to see a crash. But overall, the numbers are down 15 percent from 2019. Almost every month saw the decrease, but especially spring traffic when the coronavirus pandemic first started.

JPD Capt. Will Davis, said, “The number of crashes in April around the time of the shutdown, we were around half, half the number of crashes compared to the previous year.”

But Joplin Police Capt. Will Davis points out the trend reverses for deadly wrecks. There were a dozen last year.

“We went all the way back to 1994, and 12 has seemed to be the highest number of fatality crashes here in the city of Joplin.”

He adds a number of factors played a role in the severity of 2020 wrecks, like distracted driving.

“Failure to yield was the highest or the number one factor in regards to circumstances leading up to the crash. Right there behind that is following too close.”

Range Line was most likely to see those wrecks, along with 32nd and Connecticut, and South Main near the interstate. Also 7th and Maiden Lane, and Newman and Range Line.

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