In 2021, there was an increase in the number of fatalities for vulnerable roadway users. Pedestrian and bicycle fatalities decreased by 8% and 2% respectively, however motorcycle fatalities increased by 34%.
All age groups were represented evenly, from age 17 to 79. All districts were represented as well, with rural districts having about half of the fatalities seen in the urban districts. Of the 158 fatalities, 81 were not wearing a helmet and 12 were wearing a non-DOT helmet.
Pedestrian fatalities occurred in every month except June and on every type of roadway. There were 25 fatalities on interstate highways, five of those occurred in July, although the remaining were spread throughout the year. Seventy percent of the fatalities on interstates were in the St. Louis and Kansas City district, with the remaining in Northwest, Southeast District, Central District and Southwest District. Pedestrians in their 30's, 40's and 50's represented the highest numbers of fatalities. Of the 118 fatalities, 50 were in St. Louis.
Of the seven cyclists who died on Missouri roadways, two were in the Central District and two were in Kansas City District and remaining were in the Southwest District, St. Louis District and the Southeast District. Six of the seven were not wearing helmets and six were male. One was a teenager, five were in their 40's and 60's and one was 71. Two fatalities occurred in the month of December, with one fatality each in January, February, March, July and September.
The focus area seems to be targeting pedestrians to walk safely in St. Louis and Kansas City and to stay in their vehicles after crashes or breakdowns on the interstate. An additional focus area is targeting motorcyclist and urging them to wear DOT compliant helmets when riding. The remaining target would be to urge cyclists in Kansas City and Central District to wear helmets and follow road user rules when biking.
The vulnerable roadway user measure tracks annual trends in fatalities of motorcyclists, pedestrians and bicyclists. These roadway users are at risk for death when involved in a motor-vehicle-related crash.
Measurement and Data Collection:
Missouri law enforcement agencies submit a vehicle accident report form to the Missouri State Highway Patrol to be entered into a statewide traffic crash database. The database automatically updates MoDOT’s crash database system, which is part of the Transportation Management System.
Kansas City District
Traffic Operations Engineer
Highway Safety and Traffic