Motor vehicle crash deaths in the United States are at their highest this year since 2006. Fatal car accidents in St. Louis are such a growing concern that local police officials recently announced they are taking extra steps to stop dangerous drivers.
In October the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released its estimate of U.S. fatal car and truck crashes for the first six months of 2021. The projected number of deaths in motor vehicle accidents is 20,160, which is an 18% jump compared to the same period in 2020.
According to news reports, this nationwide year-to-year spike is the largest ever recorded since NHTSA started keeping track 46 years ago.
St. Louis also has experienced a rise in motor vehicle crash deaths.
Speeding St. Louis Drivers
In response, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department announced in October it was going to crack down on dangerous St. Louis drivers.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on this crackdown. According to the newspaper, one particular emphasis will be on speeding drivers.
In St. Louis and other cities across America, police departments reported an increase in speeding drivers in 2020. This was commonly attributed to COVID-19. There were fewer vehicles on the road during the pandemic, but a large percentage of drivers took advantage of the open roads to speed.
Yet speeding has been a dangerous issue in St. Louis for several years. In the Post-Dispatch report, a St. Louis police official notes that speed has been a contributing factor in 40% of fatal traffic accidents in St. Louis since 2018.
Fatal Pedestrian Traffic Accidents
Another focus of the St. Louis police effort is preventing fatal pedestrian accidents. St. Louis police report that 26% of the city’s traffic accident deaths since 2018 involved pedestrians, and pedestrian deaths have risen recently.
This rise in St. Louis pedestrian deaths mirrors a national trend.
The Governors Highway Safety Association, a nonprofit organization of state highway safety officials, earlier this year released a report on pedestrian deaths in 2020 (“Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State, 2020 Preliminary Data”).
The report concludes that pedestrian deaths remained high across the country, despite fewer drivers on the roads in 2020 due to the pandemic. It estimates a 20% increase in pedestrians hit and killed by motor vehicles, in terms of miles driven, in the first half of 2020 compared to the first six months of 2019.
That same report shows a projected 48 Missouri pedestrians killed in traffic accidents for the first half of 2020, placing the state within the upper half of states in terms of pedestrian deaths.
Whether a St. Louis law enforcement crackdown on dangerous drivers in the area will reduce local fatal car accidents remains to be seen. But as long as drivers dangerously speed and engage in other negligent actions, pedestrians and fellow motorists remain at risk.
If you had a loved one die or you were seriously injured in a crash caused by another driver, speak with a personal injury attorney about your legal rights to just compensation from all those responsible.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.
Authored by Gray Ritter Graham, posted in Blog November 23, 2021