Nearly 10 percent of all Missouri traffic fatalities are pedestrian deaths.
JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Walking is an essential transportation mode for many Missourians. For transit or motor vehicle users, every trip begins and ends as a pedestrian. Public health, economic and environmental factors are elevating the importance of this mode. Many citizens do not have access to a personal vehicle, are not physically capable of driving, simply decide not to drive, or delay licensure.
To date, 83 pedestrians have been killed in Missouri traffic crashes this year. This equates to nearly 10 percent of all statewide traffic fatalities.
“Motor vehicle crashes involving pedestrians don’t usually occur in extremely large numbers, but when a pedestrian is involved in a traffic crash, the potential for injury or death is much greater,” said MoDOT’s Director of Highway Safety Bill Whitfield. “It’s imperative that drivers and pedestrians use extreme caution at all times,” he said.
The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety offers the following tips to help eliminate these tragic deaths.
- Always stay inside a disabled vehicle if it is safe to do so, so the vehicle can protect you. The vehicle is much more visible to oncoming traffic than a pedestrian standing in the roadway.
- Never walk distracted by texting, talking or using headphones.
- Make yourself visible to motorists by wearing light colored clothing, and always make eye contact with drivers when possible.
- Always use designated crosswalks and obey crosswalk signals when available.
- Motorists should slow down and move over for any vehicles stopped on the shoulder, and assume someone may be walking near that vehicle.
- Use extra caution and expect the unexpected.
Education to the general public about these dangers, and enforcement of traffic laws will help prevent pedestrian deaths. Engineering advancements such as design, lighting, installation of crosswalk signs, pavement markings, and mid-block crossing signals, are also being used statewide, along with new technological advancements.
Roadway safety is everyone’s responsibility. To learn more, visit savemolives.com, or find them on social media at Save MO Lives.