A non-profit organization of top safety officials estimates the number of pedestrians killed in Missouri motor vehicle accidents will jump dramatically in 2015 over the previous year after all final numbers are tallied.
The Governors Highway Safety Association earlier this year released a report on fatal motor car and truck crashes involving pedestrians for 2015. The report is preliminary, using actual numbers for the first six months of 2015, but the trends it contains are concerning.
Missouri Pedestrian Deaths in Motor Vehicle Accidents Increase 79 Percent
Based on the first half of 2015, the GHSA estimates the total number of Missouri walkers killed in traffic crashes to increase 79 percent over 2014.
According to the organization, from 2009 to 2014 the number of walkers killed by cars and trucks in the country increased 19 percent. Yet, the total number of people killed in all motor vehicle accidents fell 4 percent over that same time. In 2014, pedestrians represented 15 percent of all those who died in fatal motor vehicle accidents – the highest level in 25 years.
It projects a national one-year jump of 10 percent in the total number of U.S. pedestrian fatalities between 2014 and 2015 alone. If that projection holds true, just over 5,300 walkers will have been killed in motor vehicle crashes last year.
The GHSA also says the number of bicyclists killed in auto accidents is on the rise. Its latest report states that almost seven out of every 10 bicyclist deaths occur in urban areas.
The organization points to several causes for fatal traffic accidents involving bikers and walkers. Alcohol and drug use remain top contributors. An increase in distracted driving also helps explain the rise in pedestrian and bicyclist deaths. Negligent drivers – those failing to yield to walkers and bike riders in clearly marked crosswalks, for example – share in the blame as well.
Bike Friendly Efforts by City of St. Louis
Recent efforts in the City of St. Louis are designed to better protect bicyclists from cars and trucks. St. Louis officials announced last year it added 100 miles of dedicated bike routes throughout the city, including the completion of the first-ever parking protected bike lane along Chestnut St., between 4th and 20th streets, in downtown St. Louis.
Improved infrastructure may eventually reduce the number of walkers and bikers killed by cars and trucks. Pedestrian and bicyclist friendly lanes can only do so much. The fact remains that driver error is the leading cause of fatal motor vehicle accidents.
If you were seriously injured or had a family member killed when struck by a car or truck while walking or riding a bike, an experienced personal injury attorney will conduct a detailed investigation on your behalf to pursue just compensation from those responsible.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.