Increased Traffic Fatalities in Missouri

In the past, Missouri has excelled with road safety. Fatalities in Missouri have steadily declined for the past six years. That trend, however, appears to be changing.

In 2012, 459 fatal accidents have occurred on Missouri roads. This represents 14 percent increase in the number of deaths as a result of a car accident. The numbers are not encouraging and police efforts are working for change.

Factors Contributing to the Fatality Increase

Although there is no singular cause for the increase in fatalities, there are some commonalities between accidents. Officers often see drivers crossing the center line and moving into oncoming traffic. They also report that seatbelt use (or lack thereof) is a major factor in fatal accidents, and that only a third of all drivers they stop are using them.

Lastly, there is also a concern with distracted driving. Patrols see drivers grooming, reading, texting and doing just about everything that they should not be doing while behind the wheel. Texting has been on the rise and could be a main contributor to the accidents.

Ways to Decrease Accident Related Fatalities

Many of the ways to decrease fatalities are obvious. Wearing a seat belt and keeping one's focus on the road are two of the most important ways to remain safe while on the road.

Law enforcement believes that four "E's" that can help with safety. The first is education. Making the public know the rules of the road and the dangers of certain practices is essential to keeping roads safe. The second is enforcement. By stepping up patrols, people become discouraged from violating the law. The third "E" is the engineering of the roads, which should always be done in a safe manner. The last "E" is advances in emergency medical services. Time can mean everything when an accident happens.

Officers want to add one more "E" to the list and that is "everyone." They want everyone to pitch in and do their part to make the roads a safer environment for all.

Holding Negligent Parties Accountable

When a distracted driver gets behind the wheel, they can be held accountable for their negligent actions. Injured parties are encouraged to seek action against these parties in hopes to deter their future negative behavior. Injured parties should also seek legal means in order to receive compensation for any injury they have suffered.

People injured by distracted drivers may seek compensation for medical costs, vehicle costs, lost wages, and even pain and suffering. If you have been injured in an accident, an experienced personal injury lawyer can advise you.