The city of Independence saw a decrease in traffic accidents not only in the past year, but in each of the past five years. 

In 2018 there were a total of 134 state reportable accidents, according to Officer Tim Townley in the Independence Police Department year end report. This is a nine percent decrease from the 148 accidents reported in 2017, and a 16.4 percent decrease from the five year average of 160.2 accidents. 

In the city, 16 injury accidents were reported in 2018 compared to 17 in 2017. The report cited a continuous reduction in "injury accidents in each of the last three years." There were no fatality accidents reported in either 2017 or 2018.

The report included conditions of each crash including cause, day of the week, month, time of day and type of location of each reported accident. 

Of the 134 accidents, 43 were caused by failure to yield, 19 were rear ends, 16 involved backing, 13 involved parked vehicles, 13 involved ice, 13 involved driving on the left side of the roadway and 18 crashes were caused by other factors.

Most crashes occurred on Friday with a total of 25, followed by Monday with 24, Wednesday 22, Thursday 18, Sunday 17, Tuesday 16 and Saturday 12. The report noted Friday continues to be the leading day of the week for accidents. 

By month, October lead the way with 18 crashes, followed by February with 16, May with 15, June with 14, August with 13, January with 12, March and July with 10, November with eight,  September with seven, December with six and April with the low of five. The report maintained these statistics followed accident trends in previous years.

Fifty-three percent of accidents occurred between noon and 6 p.m., 25 percent occurred between 6 a.m. and noon, 16 percent occurred between 6 p.m. and midnight and six percent of the 134 accidents occurred between midnight and 6 a.m.

Federal highways in town saw the brunt of the damage, with 40 percent of the accidents. Following behind, 33 percent of accidents occurred on side streets, such as Locust or Wald, 24 percent occurred on non-highway through streets, such as Poplar or Laurel, and four percent occurred on private property.

The department reported an increase of enforcement regarding areas where yielding is required and parking could possibly reduce the number of these type of accidents in the future. The department also reported there were no reported traffic stops for cars following too closely and stated an increase of enforcement in that ordinance could possibly reduce the amount of rear-end accidents.  

IPD began a traffic safety committee in June 2017. The committee was composed of traffic safety stakeholders and community volunteers, according to the report. The committee meets every two months to discuss traffic safety concerns and conduct traffic studies to search for areas of improvement or streamlining. 

Traffic stops also saw a slight decline. In 2018, 632 traffic stops were conducted, compared to 638 stops in 2017. Of the reasons for stops, speed was the primary target with 298 stops, followed by 185 stops for issues regarding headlights, taillights or tag lights, driving without lights, colored lights, etc. Fifty stops were conducted for failing to stop at stoplights, stop signs, exiting driveways or while making a left turn. Other reasons for stops included license plates, licenses, child seat and seatbelt violations, passing and DUI. In 2018 there were 16 arrests for DUI,  a 40 percent decrease from 2017.