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Troubling Increase in Deadly Missouri Pedestrian Accidents

Although collisions between motor vehicles are usually given more attention, pedestrian accidents can be just as deadly, and are becoming more common. Unfortunately, Missouri pedestrian accidents are on the rise.

It is expected that Missouri will experience more pedestrian fatalities this year than in 2010. According to the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), in 2010 there were 57 pedestrian deaths in the state; as of September this year there were already 54.

A pedestrian is at greatest risk for getting hit by a vehicle when he or she is leaving a stalled vehicle or walking on the side of the road, these activities are involved in 60 percent of pedestrian fatalities.

Safety officials recommend that motorists who experience a flat tire or other car problem while on the road turn on both their headlights and hazard lights. If possible, motorists should pull far over on the right shoulder and remain in the vehicle with their seatbelt fastened.

If it is necessary for the driver or passengers to exit the car they should exercise caution, and be aware that other vehicles may have difficulty seeing them. Motorists also can call *55 on their cell phone for highway patrol assistance.

Although MoDOT is unsure what factors may be responsible for the recent increase in pedestrian accidents, the organization is taking action by launching a campaign called “Be Safe, Be Seen, Arrive Alive.” Messages promoting pedestrian awareness will be displayed on social media, web banners and digital message boards.

Source: KOMU, Pedestrian Deaths Expected to Exceed 2010 Total, Kristen James, 15 November 2011