Over this past July 4th holiday weekend – June 30 through July 4 – 14 people were killed in Missouri fatal motor vehicle accidents. Over the same holiday period last year, five people died in traffic crashes.
This alarming note from state law officials was preceded by a national look at safety practices in the Show Me State, which gave Missouri an “F” for protecting its citizens from preventable accidents, such as fatal car wrecks.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol reported nearly 500 truck and car accidents during the five-day 2017 Independence Day holiday period. The big jump in motor vehicle accident deaths – from five to 14 – is mirrored by this year’s large increase in arrests for drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Spike in Missouri Drunk Driving Arrests
The MSHP made 172 drunk-driving arrests and another 118 arrests for drugged driving. Comparing 2017 to last year, the drug arrests were about the same but this year’s driving under the influence of alcohol violations were 40 percent higher than 2016.
Just prior to the Fourth of July holiday, the National Safety Council released a report that ranked all U.S. states for actions they’ve taken to prevent fatal accidents. Missouri was one of seven states that received a failing grade.
The report analyzed and measured steps that states can take to prevent catastrophic motor vehicle accidents, as well as in the home and in the workplace. In terms of preventing car and truck crash deaths, the NSC ranked Missouri 49th out of 51. Overall, Missouri ranked dead last – behind all other U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
Open Container Law in Missouri
The NSC cites Missouri’s lack of an open beverage container law as one reason for its lowly ranking. It also highlighted the need for Missouri to do more to combat distracted driving.
Of course, Missouri law enforcement officials aren’t responsible for our state’s drunk-driving fatalities. And lawmakers should review legislative remedies for preventing DWI deaths. Ultimately, individuals need to be held liable for their negligent behavior, such as drinking alcohol and then getting behind the wheel of a car or commercial truck.
If you had a loved killed in a motor vehicle crash caused by a drunk driver, consult an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney to pursue just financial compensation from those responsible for your unimaginable loss.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.
Authored by Gray, Ritter & Graham, P.C., posted in Blog July 11, 2017