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What Makes St. Louis, Missouri, So Unsafe? Exploring the Top Three Reasons

For the uninformed, it may come as a surprise that Missouri’s St. Louis could even be termed ‘unsafe.’ After all, one of the primary reasons why people love this city is because it is family-friendly.

With a vibrant public art scene and minds given over to research and innovation, locals find countless reasons to love St. Louis. Even tourists or visitors cannot seem to get enough of the genuine Midwest hospitality that characterizes the city.

St. Louis has some cool little neighborhoods to offer, including Compton Heights, Lafayette Square, The Hill, and Soulard. Even such great reasons to live or move into this city do not negate the fact that it was ranked the least safe city in the US. The question is what makes St. Louis so dangerous as to call for such a ranking?

In this article, we will explore the three main reasons why St. Louis is dangerous.

Rising Number of Road Accidents

According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, the total number of road crash fatalities in Missouri totaled 989 in 2023. Though the number was lower than in 2022, the state missed its target of keeping fatalities under 948.

When it comes to St. Louis, commercial truck accidents are highly common. Since St. Louis is strategically located on the Mississippi River, it is a logistics hub. Its centralized location as well as four major interstate highways makes it ideal for transporting goods to and fro.

This leads to a rise in road accidents (especially those involving commercial trucks). The aftermath of such accidents is often fatally tragic. Even if all parties survive the crash, TorHoerman Law states that victims may lose a limb, suffer from paraplegia, or sustain severe lacerations.

Besides the physical injuries, the victim and their family must overcome great emotional distress. In many cases, their quality of life is permanently altered for the worse. The legal ramifications are also extensive. There are usually multiple liable parties involved, and a St. Louis truck accident lawyer is needed to secure fair compensation.

The aim is always to settle things out of court to save time and money. But, insurers can be challenging to deal with, which only prolongs the victim’s suffering. Some of the most dangerous roads running through the city include St. Charles Rock Road, Page Avenue, Halls Ferry Road, and Jennings Station Road.

Increasing Homicide Rates

Back in 2022, city concerns were rising due to the increasing number of homicides. Shooters across the city were going all crazy and firing shots like there’d be no tomorrow. Much of this struggle happens to be due to the ongoing economic disparities.

The same is true, especially among the Black community (and there was a mass exodus of Black people). In August 2022, there were 29 cases of homicides across St. Louis (a dozen of them in which the victim and criminal knew each other).

Alarming as it is, others believe that the city’s crime rates are overstated. This has to do with the formal borders of St. Louis, which include only 10% of the metropolitan area. 

The population difference is that of 286,000 people (in St. Louis) and 2.8 million in the total metropolitan area. If the latter is considered, it is no wonder that St. Louis is deemed dangerous.

Moreover, the city’s police department has improved its homicide clearance rates by an impressive 80% in 2023. The increased use of cameras throughout the city is said to be the main reason. As of October 2023, St. Louis’ violent crime rate has hit a 10-year low (so the situation may be changing in the city’s favor).

Growing Natural Disasters

Another reason why the WalletHub study ranked St. Louis as the least safe US city was natural disasters. Is St. Louis vulnerable to hazards of nature? Yes, with the most common ones including flooding, earthquakes, fire, tornados, and other types of severe weather scenarios.

Since 2008, six record-breaking floods have swept through St. Louis. A major flash flooding happened in July 2022. It left the city’s residents picking up the pieces even months after the incident.

As for the earthquakes, the strongest one occurred in November 2021, with a magnitude of no more than 4. Though earthquakes with greater magnitude take place in other parts of the world, the problem in St. Louis is the frequency of such disasters.

From one’s career perspective, there is no doubt that St. Louis is among the top US cities to move to. As we have discussed, there are some downsides to this city (but the city officials are doing their best to improve the situation). For residents of St. Louis, disaster preparedness, road safety, and crime prevention awareness are important.

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