Joplin sees decrease in wreck numbers last year


Joplin roads saw hundreds of wrecks last year, in fact more than 17 hundred of them. But that total is down somewhat from 2017.

Joplin had 17 hundred 50 accidents reported in 2018. That represents a drop of about one percent from the year before.

“There was a car in front of me I was waiting, car behind me and i just remember looking up in the rearview mirror and seeing this car flying and thinking – they’re going to hit that car behind me,” says Amber Hulstine.

It was the beginning of a four car pile up.

“I saw the glass of the car behind me shatter and then I went into the car in front of me,” says Hulstine.

Amber Hulstine walked away – but it pushes her to be even more careful in traffic. Something Joplin police say they don’t see often enough. Still traffic crashes were down in 2018.   

“We went from 1842 to 1750. We consider that a successful year, obviously we’d like to see that number continue to go down and improve upon it,” says JPD Capt. Trevor Duncan.

But deadly wrecks are up – with 9 in 2017 and 11 last year.

“We really want to see that number at zero – we recognize the amount of vehicles in our city every day and the travel. We recognize that that’s a big challenge but we just don’t want to see those,” says Capt. Trevor Duncan.

So in 2019, officers are focusing on drunk and impaired driving – a common factor overall and especially in fatal wrecks. Following traffic too closely is another significant problem. And then there’s technology on the road.

“You know texting and driving, distracted driving with phones is a big one,” says Capt. Duncan.

Officers point to range line as the worst offender on the list. But they add that crash numbers were also high on streets like 7th, 32nd, and Main Street.

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